The Educational Aide Exemption program has paved the way for many dedicated and talented teacher assistants to attend college and become teachers ready to serve long and productive careers in the classrooms by granting tuition exemptions to qualified applicants. The State Board for Educator Certification has noted that there is an exceptionally high teacher retention rate for those students who complete the program. This is probably because teacher assistants already have a passion to teach children and are familiar with the classroom environment.
The Educational Aide Exemption program was funded at $28.6 million for the 2010-2011 biennium. But this popular program received no funding for the current biennium, leaving some participants in the middle of their degree program without the assistance they rightly expected to help continue their coursework.
Texas AFT testified on September 12, 2012 before the Senate Committee on Higher Education in support of funding the Educational Aide Exemption program so dedicated teacher assistants can attend college and become teachers.