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Florida Universities Launch New Program to Recruit Math, Science Teachers


The University of Florida and Florida State University may be archrivals in athletics, but they joined forces Wednesday to announce a $10 million program designed to attract math and science majors into teaching careers.

Each university will receive up to $2.4 million over five years from the National Math and Science Initiative, a not-for-profit organization created by ExxonMobil. The program will address what school officials said is one of the nation’s greatest economic and intellectual threats.

That’s the declining number of qualified science, mathematics and computer science teachers in the nation’s elementary, middle and high schools.

Both universities also will get $1 million each from the Helios Education Foundation, another not-for-profit organization. With matching state money, each school will have about $5 million.

“To flourish in the 21st century, the United States must continue to generate intellectual capital that can drive the research and development activities that fuel our economic engine,” said Florida State President T.K. Wetherell.

University of Florida Provost Janie Fouke said the program will help “head off a scientific brain drain by putting bright scientific minds into teaching positions.”

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