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Philadelphia School District Eyes Gates Foundation Grant

(Bill Gates in this file photo. The Philadelphia School District is expected to be in the running for a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

(Bill Gates in this file photo. The Philadelphia School District is expected to be in the running for a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Mike DeNardo Mike DeNardo
Mike DeNardo, a veteran of KYW Newsradio for more than 25 years,...
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By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The School District of Philadelphia is in the running for some Gates Foundation cash.

The ‘Great Schools Compact’ was adopted last month by the School Reform Commission. The program would move 50,000 students out of the worst performing schools over the next five years.

It is a type of program that is being considered for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s grant competition that promotes collaborations between district and charter schools.

Mayor Nutter is expected to announce on Tuesday afternoon that the Foundation has accepted Philadelphia’s application for the competition. That means a short-term monetary boost in the immediate future and the potential for tens of millions more down the road.

“What it means for right now is that we will be given a $100,000 planning grant to help the ‘Great Schools Compact’ get to our next iteration of the compact, which will be more detailed,” explained City Chief Education Officer Lori Shorr.

Philadelphia is competing against a dozen other urban districts for the Gates money. Shorr says the Foundation will announce its grant winners next spring.

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