May 1, 2014
TO THE ADMINISTRATOR ADDRESSED:
SUBJECT: Texas Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate Incentive Program—Funded Components for School Year 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The Texas Advanced Placement (AP) / International Baccalaureate (IB) Incentive Program was originally enacted in 1993 by the 73rd Texas Legislature to emphasize the state’s commitment to high academic performance.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 2012-2013 school year, the State of Texas provided test fee subsidies for over 135,000 AP and IB exams taken by public school students with demonstrated financial need. These numbers indicate a continuation of the steady growth in participation experienced in Texas over the past 15 years and 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.
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 2013-2014 school year.
• 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 2013-2014 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. The College Board provides a $26 fee reduction per exam for students with financial need. For each exam taken with a fee reduction, the school forgoes its $8 rebate, resulting in a cost of $25 per exam for the student after the TEA fee subsidy. Additional subsidies may be available from the U.S. Department of Education (USDE). Please note that the USDE federal grant that provides additional test fee subsidies has not yet been awarded. If any additional subsidies are available, they will be announced via the AP/IB Incentive Program listserv upon the notification from the USDE.
• Teacher Training Reimbursements: TEA will fund teacher training reimbursements of up to $450 per eligible teacher who completes a TEA-approved 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.
In accordance with Senate Bill 1, 83rd Texas Legislature, 2013, the Texas Education Agency shall allocate no less than the amount expended in the 2010-11 biennium for this purpose in the 2014-15 biennium. Funding priority for teacher training reimbursements will be given to teachers at public school campuses that do not offer AP or IB courses. Funding priorities are as follows:
• Eligible teachers at campuses that will offer new AP/IB programs in the 2014-2015 school year will be eligible for the cost of training up to $450
• Eligible teachers of courses that will be revised for the 2014-2015 school year will be eligible for the cost of training up to $450
• Any remaining funds will be distributed evenly among all remaining eligible teachers up to $450 per person
Please note that teachers are eligible for this reimbursement once every two years. Teachers eligible for teacher training reimbursements include those who teach 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 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 http://miller.tea.state.tx.us/list/ and select AP-IB Incentives from the drop-down menu.
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 Debbie Gonzales, Program Coordinator, by phone at (512) 463-9581 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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