Brady Independent School District received word this week of a grant award of $100,000 for both the high school and middle school campuses. The funding will be used to develop new and expand current, technology infrastructure to provide students with the technology they need to prepare for the digital era. With the assistance of the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund (TIF) Board, a state agency that provides technology funding for Texas public schools, new opportunities to participate in the ever-progressing technology of today are now possible. Students across the state are able to reap the benefits of technology in education. Using TIF grants, schools are introducing students to modern technology, including high-speed internet access and distance learning. The TIF Non-Competitive Grant for Texas Public Schools was designed to fund up-to-date hardware and connectivity equipment, high speed workstations, internet access, and/or distance learning equipment so that students may take classes from another school district and/or an institution of higher education. Additionally, grant funds will be used for technology staff development, including hardware and software training, network training, methodology training and base level technology training. These grant projects officially begin Tuesday, May 15. In an effort to provide equitable funding for Texas public schools, TIF collaborated with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) by coordinating the release of the PS9 grant award announcement with the Technology Integration in Education (TIE5) announcement. Prior to this release, staff members from both TIF and TEA met to discuss the functionality and purpose of each grant program. As a result, Texas public school districts will be able to leverage funds from both funding sources thus allowing schools to expand and increase technology capacity. “Students are the future of Texas,” said Charlyn Bruchmiller, Brady ISD technology director. “Today, students are gaining the opportunity to use modern technology for researching via the internet, word processing and learning. “We, as educators, want our students to succeed and become more marketable because of the education that they received while in school here. Thanks to TIF, the opportunity to fund this equipment and infrastructure is a reality.” Brady ISD has received two previous TIF grants. This third grant boosted their total to over $250,000 in funds used to improve and upgrade their technology capabilities throughout the district. The amount of funding a district receives is based upon its average daily attendance. According to Bruchmiller, $100,000 is the highest amount allowed. State education agencies have expressed a desire to work toward having each school throughout the state equipped with enough computers to have a three to one student to computer ratio. According to Bruchmiller, it will take several years and more TIF grants to reach that goal. Since its creation by the 74th Legislature in 1995, TIF has awarded approximately $592 million in grants to its four constituent groups’public schools, libraries, institutions of higher education and public, non-profit healthcare facilities. The agency receives approximately $150 million per year in revenues from telecommunications assessments to disburse over a 10-year period. For more information, contact TIF at (512) 344-4300 or (888) 533-TIFB. Additional information, including the lists of all grants and future grant opportunities, is available at http://www.tifb.state.tx.us.