Texas AP and IB Incentive Program-Funded Components for School Year 2014-2015 and Teacher Training Reimbursements for 2013-2014

Word Version

September 5, 2014

TO THE ADMINISTRATOR ADDRESSED:

SUBJECT:    Texas AP and IB Incentive Program-Funded Components for School Year 2014-2015 and Teacher Training Reimbursements for 2013-2014

The Texas Advanced Placement (AP) / International Baccalaureate (IB) Incentive Program was originally enacted in 1993 by the 73rd Texas Legislature to emphasize the state’s commitment to high academic performance. The program is designed to recognize and reward students, teachers, and schools that demonstrate success in achieving the educational goals of the state.

As a result of this initiative, AP and IB academic programs continue to grow. In the 2013-2014 school year, the State of Texas provided test fee subsidies for over 140,000 AP and IB exams taken by public school students with demonstrated financial need. These numbers, which indicate a continuation of the steady growth in participation experienced in Texas, can be attributed to the commitment of the Texas Legislature and Texas educators and students who strive to meet the demands offered by challenging academic programs.

2014 Teacher Training Reimbursements
Districts wishing to apply for teacher training reimbursements for approved training that took place during the 2013-2014 school year must apply to the TEA. Applications and information for the 2014 Teacher Training Reimbursement are now available on the TEA website at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=25769807494. The deadline for submitting an application is October 6, 2014.

Funded Components for School Year 2014-2015
Funding allocated to the Texas AP/IB Incentive Program by the 83rd Texas Legislature will enable the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to fund the following two components for the 2014-2015 school year.
o    Test Fee Subsidies—TEA will provide a $30 test fee subsidy for each AP or IB exam taken by eligible Texas public school students. To be eligible for this incentive program component, students must have taken an authorized AP or IB course in the 2014-2015 school year or be recommended by their principals to take the exam and must demonstrate financial need as determined in accordance with guidelines adopted by the State Board of Education that are consistent with the definition of financial need adopted by the College Board or the International Baccalaureate Organization.

For eligible AP exams, TEA pays the $30 subsidy directly to the College Board. Campuses and districts should not collect this portion of AP test fees from students. For eligible IB exams, TEA provides the $30 subsidy to individual campuses in the form of a reimbursement.

Additional subsidies may be available from the U.S. Department of Education (USDE). Please note that the amount of the federal test fee subsidy for 2014-2015 has not yet been determined. Information regarding the federal test fee subsidy will be announced via the AP/IB Incentive Program listserv upon notification from the USDE.

o    Teacher Training Reimbursements—TEA will fund reimbursements for teacher training taken during the 2014-2015 school year for the cost of the training up to $450 per eligible teacher. Teachers must complete a 24-hour or longer TEA-approved Pre-AP or AP training or an 18-hour or longer TEA-approved IB training. The amount of the teacher training reimbursement will be dependent upon the total number of eligible applicants and the amount of funding available after the payment of exam fee subsidies.

Please note that teachers will be eligible for this reimbursement only once every two years. Teachers eligible for teacher training reimbursements include those who teach approved AP or IB courses at any grade level, as well as teachers of grades 6–11 who teach a course that meets the following criteria:
•    Goes beyond the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) in depth and complexity
•    Is appropriately rigorous to prepare students to be successful in AP or IB courses
•    Is part of a vertical system of courses that ends with a specific AP or IB course (i.e., a Pre-AP English course that leads directly to AP Language and Composition)

Detailed instructions for completing the required information for each component of the incentive program for 2014-2015 will be provided as they become available. District personnel with AP/IB program responsibilities may wish to join the AP/IB Incentives listserv in order to stay informed about program requirements and the latest incentive developments. To join the listserv, visit https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/TXTEA/subscriber/new and select AP/IB from the list of subscriptions under the Curriculum section.

The commitment to educational excellence by Texas educators and students is evident in the growth and success of the AP/IB Program, and we hope that the funding of these components strengthens programs even further. For more information about the program and the funded components, please visit http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=3822 or contact Monica Brewer, Statewide Coordinator for Gifted/Talented Education, by telephone at (512) 463-9581, or by email at monica.brewer@tea.texas.gov.

Sincerely,

Monica Martinez
Associate Commissioner
Standards and Programs