Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Officials remain hopeful about Urban Teaching Academy scholarships

TAMPA — Hillsborough superintendent MaryEllen Elia and Hillsborough Education Foundation president Philip Jones have said they're confident that graduates of the Urban Teaching Academy will get the college scholarships they were promised.

But if there is a quick fix for the first class of aspiring teachers, they haven't found it.

Jones previously described a dollar-for-dollar match from Hillsborough Community College that could double the more than $17,000 already in a foundation account for the program.

HCC's foundation does match scholarships, college spokeswoman Ashley Carl said. But some funds are earmarked to match other education foundation scholarships.

After determining how much of that money is committed, HCC will likely provide one-year grants for five to 10 students, she said.

Similarly complex is the situation at the University of South Florida.

Elia said last week that USF president Judy Genshaft offered to help incoming teaching academy students get scholarships.

She did, USF spokesman Michael Hoad said. But much of the help will be counselors working with students to identify other scholarships.

In cases where a student does not qualify for other assistance, it's possible that USF will grant outright scholarships. But Hoad could not say how many.

"We're saying we'll work with them," he said. "It's not that we're generating a block of money."

Students in the magnet program at Blake, Hillsborough and Middleton high schools were promised tuition and book funds if they completed the program and returned to the school district after college to teach at urban schools.

But the funding source was never clear.

Former education foundation staff members say they opened an account but never agreed to raise the money.

Since the Tampa Bay Times first reported the story on April 3, the fund has grown to more than $18,000, Jones said.

He estimated 29 students are finishing the program. Of them, 22 appear eligible for need-based financial aid.

But district spokeswoman Linda Cobbe said only 16 have been accepted into college.

Some didn't take a college entrance exam or pass the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test or perform enough community service, she said, adding that counselors are working to help students meet requirements.

Jones said there are 100 students in the freshman, sophomore and junior classes who enrolled expecting scholarships. Of those, 56 appear eligible for need-based aid. He hopes to help this group of students through the nonprofit organization Take Stock in Children.

He's also calling on private donors and remains optimistic that students will get the funding they were promised.

"We're on the eve of getting some really nice donations," he said. "Mark my words: We will solve this and these kids don't have anything to worry about."

Marlene Sokol can be reached at (813) 226-3356 or sokol@tampabay.com.

Officials remain hopeful about Urban Teaching Academy scholarships 04/19/12 [Last modified: Thursday, April 19, 2012 11:08pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 10 sailors missing, 5 hurt in collision of USS John S. McCain

    SEOUL —Ten U.S. Navy sailors are missing and five have been injured after the USS John S. McCain destroyer collided with an oil tanker near Singapore early Monday morning.

    In this Jan. 22, 2017, photo provided by U.S. Navy, the USS John S. McCain patrols in the South China Sea while supporting security efforts in the region. The guided-missile destroyer collided with a merchant ship on Monday, Aug. 21, in waters east of Singapore and the Straits of Malacca. Ten sailors were missing, and five were injured, the Navy said. [James Vazquez/U.S. Navy via AP]
  2. Pasco County Fire Rescue fighting a two-alarm fire started by an explosion

    Fire

    Two houses are on fire and one victim has been critically burned and taken to a trauma center following an explosion at a home at 8652 Velvet Dr, in Port Richey.

  3. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  4. Bucs counting on better health creating better pass rush

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Ask Bucs coaches about the improved depth and health of their defensive line, and they'll look around for a piece of wood to knock on.

    Retired All-Pro defensive end  Simeon Rice, right, the last Buc to have double-digit sacks in a season,  works with defensive end Ryan Russell, who last season was promoted from the practice squad for the second half of the year as injuries piled up. He is competing for a backup job this year.
  5. Tampa man turns himself in for Sunday hit and run fatality

    Public Safety

    A Tampa man was arrested early Sunday after he struck and killed a pedestrian, left the scene, and then called 911 to turn himself in.