The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Commits $25.9 Million to the Alliance for Education and Seattle Public Schools to Help All Children Achieve in the Classroom
Jacque Coe, Communications Director
Alliance for Education
SEATTLE -- In a major education initiative, the Alliance for Education and the Seattle Public Schools will receive a $25.9 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to create a model school district in Seattle through improved teaching and learning, increased access to technology, and stronger home and community partnerships. The Seattle grant is part of a three-year, $350 million national commitment, based upon the belief that every child deserves a quality education and the opportunities it provides.
"These education grants will develop classroom, school and district leadership, and give schools the resources to make changes necessary to help all students achieve," said Tom Vander Ark, executive director for education at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Robin Pasquarella, President of the Alliance for Education, calls the Gates Foundation's commitment "an enormous step forward in accelerating reform in K-12 education. Hopefully, this leadership gift from the Gates Foundation will spur other public and private funders to invest in improvements in teaching and learning so that all children will experience success in school."
Specifically, funds from the Gates Foundation will be used to support the following:
- Grants to every one of the District's 97 schools for planning, technical assistance, staff training and the purchase of technology resources that will transform schools into 21st century learning organizations in line with the Foundation's Attributes of High Achievement Schools. Additional transformation grants will be made available to all high schools and selected middle and elementary schools to implement comprehensive school reform plans. It is anticipated that 80% of the Gates Foundation grant will support this school-based activity.
- Development of a District-wide "Academic Operating System" which will serve as the infrastructure for all instructional technology and electronic productivity functions (student records, grades and portfolios, human resources, etc.) at the district, school, and classroom levels. This component will also provide for the acceleration of the school-wiring schedule for bringing every one of Seattle's 97 public schools to WAN/LAN status, which includes workstations and Internet access in the office, library, and computer lab or other student-use space.
The Alliance for Education is a private, nonprofit community organization working in close partnership with the Seattle Public Schools to support initiatives that target increased academic achievement by all students. For more information visit Alliance for Education on the web.