The Merced County Office of Education will receive $600,000 in grant funding from the state to improve science and mathematics instruction.
Merced schools are among several education offices statewide that will split about $18.2 million in grant funds as part of the California Mathematics and Science Partnership, according to a news release from the state superintendent of public instruction.
The purpose of the grant is to improve so-called STEM education – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – for disadvantaged students.
“By enhancing the teaching and learning of math and science, students will gain the skills they need to prepare for college and 21st-century careers in our high-tech economy,” state Superintendent Tom Torlakson said in the release.
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The money comes from a federal grant administered by the state and is designed to help school districts partner with other education groups interested in providing professional development for teachers in math, science, technology and engineering.
To qualify for the grant, at least 40 percent of the districts’ students must be low-income.
The number of STEM jobs in the past decade has grown three times as fast as other fields, and experts believe that trend will continue into the next decade, Torlakson said.
Districts in Madera, Fresno and San Joaquin counties also received some of the funding.