RGV school districts in line for $130 million in Title I funds

Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX28) speaks to US Border Patrol agents and their families before awarding 9 US Border Patrol agents with the Congressional Certificates of Recognition for their acts of bravery on the job during a ceremony at the McAllen Border Patrol Station June 22, 2015 in McAllen. photo by joel martinez/jmartinez@themonitor.com

A number of Upper Valley school districts will continue to see federal funds for Title I programs for the upcoming school year.

The U.S. Department of Education will provide over $130 million through Title I formula allocations across 18 schools districts in Hidalgo and Starr counties for the 2019-20 year.

Title I is a formula grant program that assists local education agencies and school districts with high populations of low-income students. This is in an effort to meet “challenging state academic standards,” according to the government website.

Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, served on the appropriations committee and helped secure funding for the grant, according to a news release.

“As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I am pleased to announce this grant for our local school districts,” Cuellar said in a news release. “We must invest in the educational needs and interest of Texas students because they are our most important asset for the country’s future. I will continue to support our school systems by providing them the necessary resources, so they can deliver high quality education in Texas classrooms.”

The Department of Education allocated La Joya Independent School District the highest amount of funding in Hidalgo and Starr counties with $21,167,319, according to the data. The Edinburg school district followed with about $18.8 million, and Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District received about $17.8 million.

“La Joya ISD has been a recipient of Title I funds for decades, receiving an average of about $18 million every year,” according to a statement from La Joya ISD spokesperson Lilliana Salgado.

“No new or additional funding has been granted to La Joya ISD,” the statement further read.

Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, D-McAllen, also announced additional Valley schools included in the funding through an email.

“Every child in the 15th District of Texas deserves access to every possible educational resource and an opportunity to succeed,” Gonzalez stated in a news release. “It is my hope that these federal funds will put us one step closer to achieving educational goals and objectives at school districts across the Rio Grande Valley.”