Houston ISD offering new, no-cost pathway for aspiring educators to obtain their Texas teaching license

The Houston Independent School District has unveiled a new, no-cost pathway for aspiring educators to obtain their Texas teaching license with a $1 million grant available to Texas public institutions of higher education. 

Through the grant program, Grow Your Own, participants who currently hold an associate degree (or equivalent to 60 credits) will be able to earn their bachelor's degree and Texas teaching license while being paid as full-time teaching assistants in Houston ISD. 

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The initiative is supported by a strong partnership with the National Center for Grown Your Own and the Houston Endowment. 

Amid a growing national teacher shortage, HISD has been focused on engaging sustainable recruitment and retention solutions that would eliminate barriers to encourage prospective teachers into the profession, according to a release. 

Grant applications are now being accepted, and institutions aiming to provide no-cost pathways for students in their Educator Preparation Programs (EPPs) are strongly encouraged to apply by the early application deadline of May 26. The final application deadline is June 16. 


Educator Preparation Programs must meet TEA standards as high-quality institutions that recruit and prepare qualified educators to meet the needs of all students in Texas classrooms.  A list of approved EPPs can be found here

"We are excited to partner with local institutions to eliminate financial barriers and begin to address teacher vacancies in critical shortage areas like Special Education, Math and Science, and Bilingual Education," Kaylan Connally, Executive Officer of Talent Strategy said. "If we can build a strong pipeline of aspiring teachers who can be hired as apprentices and become high quality teachers in our classrooms, the sky is the limit for our students."

For more information on submission guidelines, steps to apply, and terms for the EPP applicant, click here.