IDEA secures millions in federal funding for STEM education

IDEA Kyle opened in August 2018.
IDEA Kyle opened in August 2018.

IDEA Kyle opened in August 2018.

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded the IDEA Public Schools network of charter schools millions of dollars in funding to pursue the Pathways to STEM Success program, which aims to increase the number of alumni employed In the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

The network will receive $4 million over the course of five years under the department’s Education Innovation and Research Early-Phase Program, according to an Oct. 8 news release from IDEA.

IDEA Public Schools operates 96 campuses in Texas and Louisiana, including one that opened in Kyle in August 2018 and currently services grades K-8. A campus in Round Rock is under construction.

“IDEA Public Schools is thrilled to have received the Education Innovation and Research grant,”  JoAnn Gama, co-founder, president and superintendent of the organization in the release. “STEM is a part of our future, but the present pipeline is insufficient to meet the workforce demand.”

The proposal the network submitted to the department for the award covered a plan to scale an educative math curriculum and AP computer science classes as well as a pilot for a high school work-study program in Austin and San Antonio.
IDEA was the only charter school to receive funding from the program, according to the release.
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