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30 districts selected for $6 million in grant funding for Raising Blended Learners initiative

For Immediate Release

Sunday, December 01, 2019

AUSTIN, TX (December 19, 2019) – The Charles Butt Foundation (formally the Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation) today announced 30 finalist school districts for the second cohort of the Raising Blended Learners demonstration initiative. These districts are being considered for a total of $6 million in grant funding plus additional in-kind technical assistance to implement a personalized learning program. The 30 finalists include:

The 30 finalists were chosen based on their blended learning business plans and to reflect Texas’ demographic and geographic diversity with the goal of igniting a statewide educational shift. The finalist cohort reflects a diverse mix of suburban, rural, and urban districts, ranging in size from 550 to 146,000 students.

Finalist districts will attend a workshop in January 2020 to further craft their proposed strategies and business plans. In April 2020, the Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation will select up to 20 winning districts to each receive up to $300,000 in grant funding and technical assistance.

Blended learning combines the best of in-person classroom teaching with online technology so teachers can use data to personalize instruction and students gain more ownership over their learning.

“Blended learning is gaining momentum and changing the face of teaching and learning across the state thanks to the work of the first Raising Blended Learners cohort and the Texas Legislature’s funding of a $12 million blended learning grant over the biennium,” said Jennifer Jendrzey, VP of strategy and evaluation for the Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation. Jendrzey oversaw the initiative’s launch and first cohort’s activities. “We are eager to continue scaling blended learning adoption through the 20 districts who ultimately will be selected for the second cohort.”

The first Raising Blended Learners cohort, selected in 2015, included five demonstration districts that received grant funding and implementation support. Another 15 received implementation support without grant funding. To date, the initiative has impacted more than 50 schools, 600 teachers, and 35,000 students.

All Raising Blended Learners materials are free and available to any district interested in piloting blended learning approaches. Those resources, the application, and more information about the initiative are available at RaisingBlendedLearners.org.