$1.2 million grant to close the achievement gap - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

$1.2 million grant to close the achievement gap

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The Foundation for Madison's Public Schools (FMPS) announced Wednesday a new grant opportunity for Madison Metropolitan School District elementary schools.

The We Can Do It Grant will target $1.2 million to accelerate and support current efforts to improve student achievement.

Stephanie Hayden, FMPS Executive Director states, "it is our community's responsibility to support every single student, providing opportunities so that all can succeed."  She went on to say, "our schools can make significant progress to close the achievement gap, but they can't do it alone."

With the grant, FMPS will provide additional resources to ensure a promising future for all students.

The We Can Do It Grant is based on the book "How It's Being Done" by Karin Chenoweth which examines how schools with high levels of poverty have significantly closed or even eliminated the achievement gap.

Madison philanthropist Mary Burke has committed funding for this grant because she strongly believes with resources to implement these strategies at the elementary level, schools and staff can greatly narrow the achievement gap.

Ms. Burke says the grant will allow individual schools to grow strategies from the ground up and see results.  

MMSD Superintendent Jane Belmore thanks Mary and FMPS for "making this exciting opportunity possible".

The grant will be administered by FMPS with the goal to show the achievement gap can be reduced more rapidly than currently expected.  The grant application is open to Madison non-charter public elementary schools with 50% or greater low income population.  School leadership and staff must also demonstrate a strong commitment to closing the achievement gap by implementing the strategies outlined in "How It's Being Done." It is anticipated that two elementary schools will be chosen to receive this grant.  The schools will each receive a maximum of $200,000 each per year for three years.

The grant application, outlining the selection criteria, will be available Tuesday, January 15 and due by end of business Monday, April 1.  The selected schools will be announced Tuesday, May 7.

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