PHARR – The Pharr Housing Authority and Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD recently signed a 10-year cooperative agreement that will help fund scholarships for housing residents.

As part of this agreement, the Housing Authority will make an annual payment in Lieu of Taxes to PSJA ISD, who will then contribute the payment to Project READ, a new non-profit created by the Housing Authority to provide scholarships to PSJA graduates residing at the Pharr Housing Authority.

During the regularly scheduled School Board meeting held Monday, March 18, PSJA ISD presented a check totaling $73,580.03 for the 2017 and 2018 years to Project READ to kick-off the scholarship program. A committee will be formed to create criteria for the scholarship awards. The plan is to give out the first scholarships to the Class of 2019.

Pharr Housing Authority Executive Director Noel De Leon thanked the School District for their continued support in this and other projects throughout the years.

“Thank you for the special relationship that PSJA ISD has with our Housing Authority,” he said. “Your continued support for a lot of our projects, including providing us education services not only for our kids, but for our adults are appreciated.”

According to the Executive Director, the Housing Authority has provided scholarships in the past, but it was difficult to raise the money.

“In the past, PSJA ISD would waive the payments in Lieu of Taxes, with this agreement we can utilize these funds to provide money for our kids to realize their dreams and give them an opportunity to advance their education,” De Leon said.

Thanks to this agreement, scholarships are expected to continue being distributed on an annual basis for the next eight years.

“We continue to emphasize the support on behalf of the School District to work with your families,” PSJA School Board President Jesse Zambrano said to Pharr Housing Authority administration and board members in attendance. “We want to continue to provide those educational opportunities. Thank you for this partnership!”