79R13241 KO-D

By:  Alonzo                                                       H.R. No. 1190

WHEREAS, The face of Texas is rapidly changing, and demographic trends indicate that Hispanics will likely make up a majority of the population within the next decade; as a result, the state is in great need of more certified bilingual teachers, and a program at the University of North Texas is wisely addressing that need; and WHEREAS, In collaboration with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, UNT is offering the Roberto R. Alonzo Bilingual/ESL Education Scholars Program to provide tuition assistance and loan forgiveness as incentives for students to pursue certification programs in bilingual or ESL education; covering tuition, fees, and a small book allowance, the scholarships are available for up to 25 students and provide a total of $300,000 in funding to junior and senior education students at UNT; and WHEREAS, Students enrolled in this program must maintain at least a 2.75 grade point average, meet financial aid requirements, dedicate the majority of their classes to early childhood to fourth-grade level bilingual or ESL courses, as well as agree to teach full-time as a certified teacher in early childhood through fourth-grade bilingual or ESL classes at a public school in Texas for five years; and WHEREAS, Equipping future teachers with fluency in the Spanish language that will facilitate the delivery of content in the classroom as well as encouraging respect and appreciation of linguistic and cultural differences are important priorities of the UNT program, and student participants may not only take pride in the fact that they will be in high demand on graduation but also that they are providing a service that is vital to the future of our state by attending to the needs of the growing population of Spanish-speaking schoolchildren; now, therefore, be it RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives of the 79th Texas Legislature hereby welcome students from the University of North Texas Roberto R. Alonzo Bilingual/ESL Education Scholars Program to the Capitol and commend them for their commitment and dedication to the children of Texas.