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Published: Wednesday, 6/27/2007

Gates Foundation grants $7.4 million for Ohio schools initiative

ASSOCIATED PRESS

CINCINNATI A $7.4 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will be used to improve educational performance in some of the state s urban high schools.

The investment by the foundation set up by the Microsoft Corp. chairman and his wife will help continue funding for the next phase of the statewide Ohio High School Transformation Initiative, KnowledgeWorks Foundation, an Ohio-based education philanthropy, said Tuesday.

KnowledgeWorks, the Gates foundation and the Ohio Department of Education will be providing up to $20 million in resources for schools and districts involved in the initiative through June 2009. The money will help nine school districts improve in areas such as curriculum, instruction and teacher development.

Districts receiving three-year grants include Canton, Columbus, Cleveland Heights-University Heights, East Cleveland, Lima, Lorain, Toledo, and Youngstown. The Cleveland Municipal School District received a one-year grant.

The newest investment will build on earlier grants to the districts that helped them transform large urban schools into smaller ones in an effort to improve student performance.

High schools participating in the initiative graduated students at higher rates than the state averages from 2002 to 2005, the most recent years for which graduation rates are reported, according to KnowledgeWorks. The state s average graduation rate increased two percentage points from 2002 to 2005, while OHSTI campuses increased from 64 percent in 2002 to 70 percent in 2005, the foundation said.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toeldoblade.com.



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