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IRVING, Texas -- ExxonMobil Corp. will spend $125 million to fund math and science training for teachers and incentives for students who take advanced courses in the U.S., the largest charitable contribution in the company's 125-year history, Bloomberg News reported.
The money will go to the National Math and Science Initiative, a non-profit group that encourages math and science majors to pursue teaching careers, according to Gerald McElvy, who oversees ExxonMobil's philanthropic foundation of $200 million annually.
The National Math and Science Initiative will also provide training programs for teachers of advanced-placement courses, and reward high school students who pass exams in those classes, McElvy told Bloomberg News. The program’s goal is to reverse a decline in math and science skills among U.S. students, which were highlighted in a 2005 National Academies of Science report, the company stated.
"We stand in real danger of falling behind in innovative capacity," Tom Luce, the group's chief executive officer and a former assistant U.S. secretary of education, told Bloomberg News. "Most of the good-paying jobs that'll be created in this country in the future will require a whole lot more math and science literacy than in the past."
Nonprofit education groups will administer the programs, according to Luce. About $13 million in grants to organizations in Virginia will be announced today, followed by donations in six other states during the next two weeks, the report stated.