The U.S. Department of Education announced Tuesday that Texas has been awarded more than $3 million in grants to help low-income students pay for advanced placement tests.
The grants are part of $28.4 million in grants awarded to 40 states, Washington, D.C., and the Virgin Islands to help the students defray the costs of taking AP tests administered by the College Board, the International Baccalaureate Organization and Cambridge International Examinations.
By subsidizing test fees for low-income students, the program is intended to encourage those students to take advanced placement tests and obtain college credit for high school courses, reducing the time and cost required to complete a postsecondary degree.
"We know that when students of all backgrounds are held to high expectations they excel. High school instruction needs to become more rigorous to foster college and career-readiness, and provide multiple pathways to success in order to prepare students for the 21st century global economy. Advanced Placement courses are helping schools meet this challenge by developing the study skills, critical reasoning, and habits of mind that prepare students for college. These grants eliminate some of the financial roadblocks for low-income students taking Advanced Placement courses, letting them take tests with the potential of earning college credit while in high school," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
Texas received $3,018,808 in funds, second only to California who received $10,736,965 in grant money.
Levels of funding per state were determined on the basis of state estimates of the numbers of tests that would be taken by low-income students. From 2013 to 2014, the number of tests for low income students covered by the program increased by over 6 percent, the DOE said in a statement released Tuesday morning.
"Based on the anticipated number of tests to be taken, the grants under the Advanced Placement Test Fee Program are expected to be sufficient to pay all but $18 of the cost of each advanced placement test taken by low-income students. States may opt to require students to pay a portion of the costs," said the DOE.
The Obama Administration's commitment to equity in education underlies nearly every significant activity of the Education Department - from My Brother's Keeper to the proposed Race to the Top-Equity and Opportunity grant program, which would create incentives for states and school districts to drive comprehensive change in how they identify and close opportunity and achievement gaps."
Below is the list of 2014 Discretionary Grants for the Advanced Placement Test Fee Program:
State Applicant Amount*
AK State of Alaska Department of Education & Early Development $26,843
AL Alabama Department of Education $40,034
AZ Arizona Department of Education $704,137
CA California Department of Education $10,736,965
CO Colorado Department of Education $455,128
CT Connecticut State Department of Education $293,444
DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education $141,334
DE Delaware Department of Education $97,841
HI Hawaii State Department of Education $104,030
IA Iowa Department of Education $59,823
ID Idaho State Department of Education $75,552
IL Illinois State Board of Education $2,224,219
IN Indiana Department of Education $474,939
KS Kansas State Department of Education $82,176
KY Kentucky Department of Education $464,887
LA Louisiana Department of Education $281,745
MA Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education $672,919
MD Maryland State Department of Education $635,077
ME State of Maine, Department of Education $83,961
MI Michigan Department of Education $639,367
MO Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education $188,048
MS Mississippi Department of Education $54,287
MT Montana Office of Public Instruction $4,604
NC North Carolina Department of Public Instruction $759,099
NE Nebraska Department of Education $5,331
NH New Hampshire Department of Education $30,399
NJ New Jersey Department of Education $585,366
NM New Mexico Public Education Department $46,240
NV Nevada Department of Education $435,616
NY New York State Education Department $2,643,454
OH Ohio Department of Education $349,518
OR Oregon Department of Education $198,258
PA Pennsylvania Department of Education $596,608
RI Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education $74,057
SD South Dakota Department of Education $7,513
TN State of Tennessee $67,516
TX Texas Education Agency $3,018,808
VA Virginia Department of Education $358,608
VI Virgin Islands Department of Education $16,745
VT Vermont Agency of Education $29,928
WA Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction $655,883
WV West Virginia Department of Education $62,693
*The award amounts reflect the amounts needed to fund the spring 2014 exams and a portion of the spring 2015 exams for each state.
The Advanced Placement Test Fee program is administered by the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. For additional information on the program and these new awards, visit http://www2.ed.gov/programs/apfee/index.html.