2009-10-08 / Sports

Texas A&M System awarded $3.6 million

The Texas A&M University System has been awarded a $3.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to fund the system's Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) initiative. The grant will fund the program for five years, awarding participating system universities a total of $2,684,958. The remainder of the funds is allocated for resource development costs.

LEAD is designed to assist high-needs local educational agencies in the development, enhancement or expansion of innovative programs to recruit, train and retain principals and assistant principals throughout Texas. Studies show that a principal is the single mostimportant factor in a school's success. In Texas, the turnover rate for principals is approximately 40 percent.

The participating A&M System universities will provide scholarships for LEAD participants as well as stipends to experienced principals who mentor new principals. The new principals also will have access to online mentoring provided by the A&M System.

"With receipt of this highly competitive grant, we will be able to help train and mentor exceptional principals, who in turn will have the tools and support they need to effectively lead their schools," said Dr. Frank B. Ashley, vice chancellor for academic affairs for the A&M System.

The A&M System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $3.2 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities, seven state agencies and a comprehensive health science center, the A&M System educates more than 109,000 students and makes more than 15 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. Externally funded research expendituresexceed more than $676 million and help drive the state's economy.

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