Dept. of Education Awards Texas $3 Million Grant to Pay for AP Tests for Low-Income Students

DOE hopes subsidized test fees encourage students to obtain college credit

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Laura Waters

    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
            
    Totals    $28,483,000

    *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.