Some 30 Colorado high schools will share in a $10.5 million grant intended to broaden the diversity of students who take Advanced Placement tests.
Helayne Jones, president of the Colorado Legacy Foundation, this morning announced the grant from the National Math and Science Initiative, which is redistributing funds from a federal Investing in Innovation (i3) grant.
The funds will expand on an existing Legacy program and be used to support 30 Colorado high schools and their feeder schools with three-year grants intended to increase Advanced Placement enrollment and achievement in groups of students that typically haven’t participated.
“This program gets results, and it gets results for students who too often don’t pursue advanced classes,” said Jones. “The real focus of this work is achievement gap closing.” She said a small existing program involving seven high schools over the last two years has produced an 80 percent AP enrollment increase and a 53 percent increase in qualifying scores.
Schools selected to participate will receive funding for teacher training, financial awards to both students and teachers for qualifying test scores, stipends for teacher time out of the classroom, student study sessions, exam fees, equipment and supplies.
Jones said the foundation has received proposals for participation from 30 schools and will decide over the next weeks which schools will receive grants. A group of 10 schools will start the program next fall, 10 more in the fall of 2013 and the final 10 a year later.
The grant requires a local match, and Jones said the foundation hopes to raise $3.5 million over the next five years.
Indiana is the only other state to receive funding from the math and science initiative.
Founded in 2007, the Legacy Foundation partners with the Department of Education to raise funds for initiatives focused on educational leadership, innovation and student health. It has become a significant participant in the fundraising efforts that have intensified in recent years as state support of K-12 education has shrunk.