Governor Rick Perry came to Lake View High School with praise, and a check for $180,000.
"Incentives work, whether it's on an athletic field, whether it's in a private business, or whether it's in our public schools," the Governor told students, faculty and administrators.
75 percent of the money goes directly to teachers, while the remainder can be used by the school for whatever they choose. It's called the Texas Educator Excellence Grant. The legislature came up with the idea, and approved the funding last year. It targets campuses in areas considered economically disadvantaged, and rewards teachers in those schools which show significant student achievement and improvement.
"We want to send a message," Perry said. "Not only 'Thank you for doing that, but here's a little bump in your paycheck.'"
Lake View teachers, students and administrators met in the library to hear the governor's praise, and accept this monetary pat on the back.
Perry says the funds target teachers who are "going the extra mile, taking the extra courses, mentoring other teachers, really instilling in our students the passion to learn, and to do good with their life."
"You know, a lot of their hard work sometimes goes unrecognized," says Matt Smith, Lake View Principal. "And any time you can provide a teacher with some kind of incentive, whether it be a monetary incentive, or just a 'thank you,' or 'congratulations,' there's always that sense of pride and sense of accomplishment.
Four other San Angelo schools also received TEEG funds. Belaire and Fannin Elementary Schools each received $50,000, while Bradford and Reagan Elementaries were awarded $60,000 each.
In all, the state is distributing about $195 million in Texas Educator Excellence Grants to nearly 1,200 campuses statewide.