The Sanger school district has announced it will receive $750,000 from the Texas Education Agency.
The grant comes months after the district received a similar $350,000 grant from the state agency, according to a news release Thursday.
Money will come through a grant from the TEA’s Community Partnerships initiative, which “will provide technical assistance and financial support to communities for wrap-around and holistic services,” according to the agency’s website.
Sanger ISD is required to match the state agency’s grant with $200,000, which was solidified largely through donations and partnerships with local businesses, universities and private donors, district administrators said.
All of the money came with the stipulation that it be applied to a certain age range of students, such as early childhood, elementary school, middle school or high school. Sanger ISD plans to allot its money toward early childhood education and community outreach.
According to the TEA’s website, the new initiative is meant “to focus on increasing academic achievement in the most struggling communities in the state of Texas.”
Districts could meet this through numerous criteria, including large feeder schools, number of students and low performance.
“Believe it or not, we didn’t fit the prerequisites,” district Superintendent Sandra McCoy-Jackson said.
Sanger ISD serves fewer than 3,000 students and has test scores that would normally be too high to qualify for the TEA grant.
“If you have a need and there’s something out there, it’s always important to try,” McCoy-Jackson said.
She, along with other SISD administrators, said that Harold Wright, director of community and university partnerships with TEA, was persuaded to award them the grant by the district’s compelling explanation of its need for grant funding.
Money will go toward myriad causes. Teachers and administrators will work to have outside playtime mirror the lessons of the week, which might mean that students learning about flight will see a variety of insect wings under a microscope.
Additionally, the district’s Mobile Resource Center — better known as The Purple Bus — operates as a lending library and homework resource center for the district and likely will receive funding from the TEA grant.
“Everybody loves The Purple Bus,” said Valerie Foster, district communications liaison.
The bus acts as part of the district’s larger goal of getting all children, whether enrolled in preschool or not, ready to start kindergarten.
Administrators will have a kickoff event with TEA staff in the coming weeks to finalize its plans for the grant money.