TEXAS GRANT PROGRAM RECEIVES FIRST PRIVATE DONATION
Plano Senator and Education Committee Chair Florence Shapiro and the Texas Retailers Education Foundation (TREF) announced a $250,000 donation) to the state's higher education financial assistance program, TEXAS Grant. Senate Bill 1227, sponsored during the 79th regular session by Shapiro and Dallas Senator Royce West, allows private entities to donate money to TEXAS Grant to supplement the money provided by the state government. Shapiro applauded TREF for being the first organization in Texas to donate money to this fund. "They have set a very high bar, and one that I challenge others to try and meet and emulate," said Shapiro.
TEXAS Grant was started in 1999, and helps to pay for tuition and other fees for qualifying students at Texas public universities. To meet eligibility requirements, students must be Texas residents and demonstrate sufficient need. They must also meet Recommended or Distinguished Achievement high school curriculum and apply to a state university in Texas within 16 months of graduation. Students who receive an associates degree from a technical or community college are also eligible for this program.
TREF was founded by private retail businesses in Texas in 2001. TREF spokesperson Theresia Intag said that it is in the best interest of state businesses to help Texas high-schoolers attend colleges and universities. "The retail industry employs one out of every nine Texans," she said. "Texas retailers have a vested interest in ensuring that a well-trained, highly-educated workforce is available to our industry."