ESC Region 12
News & Announcements
Falls County Rural Collaborative Recognized as Rural Pathways Excellence Partnership under House Bill 2209

Falls County, Texas - The Falls County Rural Collaborative (FCRC) is proud to announce its official
designation as a Rural Pathways Excellence Partnership (R-PEP) under House Bill 2209. This
pioneering collaborative effort includes Marlin ISD, Rosebud-Lott ISD, Education Service Center 12,
and local higher education institutions. Together, they are committed to expanding college and
career pathways for local students. With this prestigious designation, the FCRC will continue to drive
educational innovation in the Falls County community.

“This opportunity will allow the districts and their students to access a tailored educational
experience designed for college and career readiness as well as personal growth. By working
together, we can pool our resources and expertise to provide a more comprehensive and enriching
educational experience,” said TJ Arndt, Director of the FCRC. “Ultimately, I hope this collaboration
lays the groundwork for long-term success, empowering students to thrive academically and
personally well beyond their time in school.”

The Rural Pathways Excellence Partnership program (HB2209), signed into law on June 2, 2023,
builds on the success of the Rural Schools Innovation Zone (RSIZ) in South Texas. This bipartisan
bill established incentives for multi-district Rural Pathway Excellence Partnerships (R-PEP), enabling
districts with fewer than 1,600 students to collaborate with education and industry partners. The
legislation includes additional financial incentives for participating districts, such as per-pupil
funding for students in pathways, outcome bonuses for students achieving credentials of value, and
grants for districts interested in developing and implementing collaborative models.

The FCRC is one of the first three R-PEP-designated collaboratives in Texas. Officially launching this
fall, the FCRC plans to offer three specialized academies focused on specific career pathways,
accessible to all FCRC students. Each academy is aligned with regional workforce needs, leading to
high-wage, high-demand job opportunities post-graduation.

“Marlin ISD and its leadership have been a delight to work with, and I am excited that the students of
RLISD will have more opportunities to reach their full potential with a greater variety of programs of
study than we can offer as an individual district,” said Dr. Jim Rosebrock, Superintendent of
Rosebud-Lott ISD.

Dr. Darryl Henson, Superintendent of Marlin ISD, added, "This designation is a testament to the
innovative educational opportunities that we provide for our students. Partnering with Rosebud-Lott
ISD shows our shared vision of providing students in Falls County with an education that is both
comprehensive and comparable to the best across Texas. It is our hope that students from both
districts will learn and grow together as we embark on offering a challenging curriculum that will
prepare them for their futures."