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New $2.2 million Texas Instruments Foundation Grant to Educate Texas Will Advance STEM District Model in Lancaster ISD


(May 4, 2015) DALLAS, TX – The Texas Instruments (TI) Foundation announced today a grant of up to $2.2 million to Educate Texas to support the continued development of a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) district in the Lancaster Independent School District (LISD), accelerating an initiative to improve STEM learning and teaching across the district.


”Early results of student achievement have been promising after a number of measures were put in place across most grade levels at Lancaster ISD during the last three years,” said Lewis McMahan, chairman of the TI Foundation.  “We hope this additional grant accelerates that progress.   We believe all students can move forward and experience greater success in STEM. By focusing this new grant on areas that have shown to be the most impactful, we are confident student achievement will improve even faster.  The Lancaster ISD and Educate Texas are to be commended for raising expectations, increasing the focus on STEM and helping all students to succeed.”


In 2012 the TI Foundation announced a multi-year grant of  up to $4.8 million to Educate Texas, a public-private initiative of Communities Foundation of Texas, to work with LISD to build out a “STEM District” using proven best practices from across the state’s robust STEM network of schools.  The goal was to improve academic achievement for all students and increase students’ awareness and exposure to STEM college and career pathways. With today’s announcement, the TI Foundation support for the initiative totals $7 million to support this district-wide transformation


“In the next 3-5 years, I see Lancaster ISD as being one of the premier districts within the state as it relates to STEM, student performance and being a research-based district,” said Ty G. Jones, Lancaster ISD School Board President. “This investment will help us to get there as we are looking at professional development. The more qualified teachers and educational instructors that we have, the better for our students.”


The TI Foundation, Educate Texas, and LISD have worked together over the past three years addressing core elements of LISD’s original plan to include a strong STEM foundation of college-ready teaching and learning, strategic partnerships and community outreach, and a plan for sustaining this work. “The initial gains that LISD has achieved have been impressive”, said Brent Christopher, President and Chief Executive Officer of Communities Foundation of Texas. “The continued support by the Texas Instruments Foundation demonstrates the impact of aligning proven practices with strong leaders, key community partners, and philanthropic support.”


The new grant will support the continued efforts to advance student success in LISD by:

  • Providing additional professional development for teachers, leaders, and counselors;
  • Enhancing College and Career Readiness initiatives for students ;
  • Supporting changes to Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment by aligning math curriculum to college and career standards, developing elementary STEM engineering courses, and aligning dual credit and Advanced Placement (AP) ™ courses; and
  • Designing student supports that expand summer bridge programs and engage more students in STEM extracurricular activities and STEM camps.


“We are thrilled and grateful for the TI Foundation’s continued support in Lancaster ISD and we are excited to leverage the learning from this district-wide effort to inform how other districts across the state can benefit more students,” said George Tang, Chief Operating Officer of Educate Texas.   


“It certainly is exciting news that the Texas Instruments Foundation has appreciated the marriage of their initial funding and are seeing the work of the school district,” said Lancaster Mayor Marcus E. Knight. “It speaks well to how the district has put previous funds to use. And it speaks well to the strides that we are making as a district and community.”



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About Educate Texas

Launched in 2004, Educate Texas, a public-private initiative of Communities Foundation of Texas, is dedicated to ensuring Texas students are prepared to graduate high school ready for college and career success. We achieve this goal by partnering with school districts, institutions of higher education, business, and philanthropy to implement practices that support postsecondary readiness, access and success for all students.


The Educate Texas public-private partnership includes: The Texas Education Agency; Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board; Texas Workforce Commission; Office of the Governor; Texas Legislature; Communities Foundation of Texas; Ford Foundation; Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Greater Texas Foundation; Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust; Houston Endowment; IBM; The Kresge Foundation; Lumina Foundation; The Meadows Foundation; TG Texas Guaranteed; and Texas Instruments Foundation. For more information, please visit:


About Lancaster ISD

The mission of Lancaster ISD, in collaboration with parents and communities, is to ignite learning that translates into sustainable success for all students in an ever-changing society. This school district is comprised of 10 campuses: seven elementary, one sixth grade center, one middle, one secondary, 7, 153 students, 85 percent of the student population is economically disadvantaged and 96 percent of the students are Hispanic/African American. Lancaster ISD is the first district in Texas to offer a K – 12 STEM curriculum to all students. Each elementary campus is STEM-focused with an emphasis on Health Science Technology, Engineering, Information Systems & Software Design or Global Arts Communications & Entrepreneurship.


About the Texas Instruments Foundation

The Texas Instruments Foundation, founded in 1964, is a non-profit organization providing philanthropic support for educational and charitable purposes primarily in the communities where Texas Instruments operates. Committed to supporting educational excellence, the foundation works to create measurable, replicable programs and initiatives. In school districts across North Texas, TI and the TI Foundation have supported and helped implement successful programs such as the National Math & Science Initiative’s College Readiness Program, UTeach, Laying The Foundation, TexPrep, and the Innovation in STEM Teaching Awards.  The focus is on providing knowledge, skills and programs to improve STEM education and increase the percentage of high school graduates who are math and science capable.  More information can be found at



Texas Instruments                                          

Gail Chandler                                                    

214-793-3021 (cell)                                      


Lancaster ISD

Sonya Cole-Hamilton



Educate Texas

Isaac Ricard



Communities Foundation of Texas

Laurey Peat

Laurey Peat + Associates