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Published in Print: June 16, 2004, as Major Gates Foundation Grants to Support Small High Schools

Major Gates Foundation Grants To Support Small High Schools

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Place-Based Grants | Network, Replication, and Early-College Grants

Of the $2.2 billion in education-related grants made by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in the past five years, about $647 million has gone to support the creation of smaller, more personalized high schools. The following list does not include $66.3 million the foundation has spent on policy, research, and evaluation projects related to the reform of secondary education. The grants listed do not add up to the total, partly due to overlap between the two categories of awards.

Place-Based Grants

New York City: Grants totaling nearly $79 million from 2000 through 2003 to 16 organizations to help start dozens of small, academically challenging, but nonselective high schools. The length of the awards ranged from one to five years. New Visions for Public Schools, a local nonprofit organization, received $39.2 million in two awards in 2000 and 2003.

Ohio: A total of $37.2 million in seven multiyear grants to the Cincinnati-based Knowledge Works Foundation. Most of the money focuses on high school redesign and creation of new schools in cities across Ohio, including early-college high schools. A small portion supports work in a half-dozen cities in other states. Also, $6.7 million to the University of Minnesota Foundation in 2000 and 2002 to help convert five large high schools in Cincinnati and two more in West Clermont, Ohio.

Where the money is:
Red states indicate where the foundation has made grants in at least one city to start small high schools or redesign large ones.
SOURCE: Compiled with information provided by the Gates Foundation.



Washington State: Grants totaling $26.8 million to 27 school districts, two community colleges, a Roman Catholic diocese, and a Seattle- based nonprofit organization to redesign existing large high schools and create new small schools. Also, grants totaling $10.4 million to the University of Washington in Seattle for its Small Schools Project, which provides technical assistance and other services.

Texas:Five-year grant of $35 million in 2003 to the Communities Foundation of Texas to create 75 to 80 new and redesigned small schools along the Texas-Mexico border, as well as in cities including Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio.

Oakland and San Francisco: In 2000 and 2003, two multiyear grants totaling $25.2 million to the Oakland, Calif.-based Bay Area Coalition of Equitable Schools for small public high schools, mostly in Oakland. Also, $1 million in 2003 to the Every Child Can Learn Foundation to plan two new San Francisco public high schools and the redesign of two more, as well as $1.5 million to the San Francisco Foundation to follow up on that planning.

Chicago: Two grants over four and five years totaling $19.7 million in 2001 and 2003 to the Chicago Community Foundation to help restructure existing high schools and start new small schools. Another grant of $4 million over six years to the Chicago Charter School Foundation in 2002 for two charter school campuses and two schools run under contracts with the public school system.

Boston: Four-year grant of $13.7 million in 2003 to the nonprofit, Boston-based Jobs for the Future to create and develop small high schools, mostly within the city’s public school system. Two grants totaling nearly $6.9 million in 2000 and 2002 to the nonprofit, Boston-based Center for Collaborative Education to start and support small schools. To the city’s school district and the Boston Plan for Excellence in the Public Schools Foundation, a $2.5 million contribution to the $8 million for Boston under the Carnegie Corporation of New York’s Schools for a New Society initiative.

Milwaukee: One 2003 grant of $17.3 million over five years to the locally based MMAC Community Support Foundation Inc. to support the redesign of seven large high schools and the development of about 40 additional small, autonomous ones.

San Diego: Grant to New American Schools in 2003 of $11.5 million over four years for the Alexandria, Va.-based nonprofit organization to help redesign three large high schools and start 15 new schools. The San Diego State University Foundation also used $1.6 million of a five-year grant totaling $15 million in 2000 for the conversion of large high schools in the city into smaller units. Gates contributed $2.6 million of the $8 million for San Diego under the Carnegie Corporation’s Schools for a New Society initiative.

Oregon: To the nonprofit organization E3: Employers for Education Excellence, based in Portland, Ore., $15 million over five years in 2003 to help convert 18 to 20 large high schools into smaller learning communities and set up 10 to 12 new small high schools under an initiative headed by the Portland-based Meyer Memorial Trust.

Baltimore: Five-year grant of $12 million in 2002 to the locally based Fund for Educational Excellence to overhaul nine neighborhood high schools into smaller learning communities and establish six to eight "innovation high schools" featuring small, supportive structures and academic rigor.

Indianapolis:To the University of Indianapolis, $11.3 million over five years in 2003 to help start 10 new public and private high schools and redesign five large high schools in the city.

North Carolina: Five-year grant of $11 million in 2003 to the Public School Forum of North Carolina to support the creation of 40 to 45 new and redesigned high schools in the state.

Sacramento, Calif.: Four-year grant of $4 million in 2001 to the nonprofit LEED-Sacramento (Linking Education and Economic Development) to help start eight small high schools and redesign eight existing ones in the city. Two more grants totaling $3.6 million in 2002 and 2003 to the nonprofit St. HOPE Corp. to support the conversion of a local public high school into six small schools. Gates also provided $2.6 million of the $8 million for Sacramento under the Carnegie Corporation’s Schools for a New Society initiative.

Maine: In 2002, $10 million over 52 months to the Sen. George J. Mitchell Scholarship Research Institute, to help create 10 to 12 model high schools in rural and urban communities, develop a replication process for future schools, and promote high school reform.

St. Paul, Minn.: About $8.1 million in three grants from 2000 to 2002 to the University of Minnesota Foundation in Minneapolis for the conversion of four large high schools in the city and the start-up of five new charter high schools in the metropolitan area.

Colorado: In 2001, $8 million over 55 months to the Denver-based Colorado Children’s Campaign for its initiative to transform low-performing large high schools in the state and launch new small, autonomous charter and district-run schools.

Rhode Island: Two grants in 2000 totaling $4.8 million to the Providence-based Rhode Island Foundation to support high school reform in Providence and Coventry. To the city school district and the Rhode Island Children’s Crusade for Higher Education, a $2.7 million contribution in 2001 toward the $8 million for Providence under the Carnegie Corporation’s Schools for a New Society initiative.

Georgia: Grant of $6.3 million over five years in 2003 to the Atlanta-based Communities in Schools of Georgia to establish 25 small secondary schools known as Performance Learning Centers.

Kansas City, Mo.: In 2003, $6.1 million over four years to the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation to support the city school district’s effort to transform its high schools.

Houston: To the city school district and the Houston Annenberg Challenge, a $4.3 million contribution in 2001 to the $8 million for Houston under the Carnegie Corporation’s Schools for a New Society initiative.

Lancaster, Pa.: To the Lancaster Foundation for Educational Enrichment, $4 million over three years in 2002 to support the creation of effective, personalized learning environments for students in grades 6-12.

Utah: Five-year, $3.5 million grant in 2002 to the Utah Partnership Foundation, based in Salt Lake City, to support the development of six high-tech charter schools in the state.

Chattanooga, Tenn.: To the Hamilton County schools and the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Public Education Fund, a $2.8 million contribution in 2001 to the $8 million for Chattanooga under the Carnegie Corporation’s Schools for a New Society initiative.

Worcester, Mass.: To the city school system and Clark University, a $2.5 million contribution in 2001 to the $8 million for Worcester from the Carnegie Corporation’s Schools for a New Society initiative.

Los Angeles: To the California Community Foundation, a $1 million grant over one year in 2003 to coordinate a strategic plan to transform the Los Angeles Unified School District’s secondary schools into small school communities.

Grand Rapids, Mich.: One-year, $500,000 grant to the city school system in 2003 to support a community planning process for secondary school restructuring and innovation.

Network, Replication, and Early-College Grants

Carnegie Corporation of New York
A total of $25 million in 2001 to support the New York City-based philanthropy’s Schools for a New Society initiative, a $60 million high school redesign effort focusing on seven cities: Boston; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Houston; Providence, R.I.; Sacramento, Calif.; San Diego; and Worcester, Mass. Some money flowed through Carnegie, and some was distributed directly by Gates.

National Council of La Raza
Three multiyear grants totaling $23.4 million to the Washington- based Hispanic-advocacy group in 2000, 2002, and 2003, to develop, expand, and improve a network of charter high schools across the country.

New Schools Venture Fund
Four-year grant of $22.3 million to the San Francisco-based fund to support a feasibility study and incubate and support five charter school management organizations.

Coalition of Essential Schools
A 2003 grant of $18.7 million over five years to the school reform group, based in Oakland, Calif., to help launch 10 new high schools, improve five existing ones, and provide other services to schools in the coalition’s national network.

The Big Picture Co.
Three five-year grants totaling $15.9 million in 2000 and 2003 to start new schools modeled on the Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center, a small, alternative high school in Providence, R.I., known as "the Met," and to support a network of youth-development groups sponsoring alternative urban high schools.

New Technology Foundation
A total of $14.7 million to the Napa, Calif.-based foundation, which works to support and replicate the model developed by the city’s New Technology High School, a small, project-based school with a computer-to-student ratio of 1-to- 1.

Outward Bound
To the Garrison, N.Y.-based adventure education organization, $12.6 million over 58 months in 2003 to help develop 20 new high schools using its Expeditionary Learning model in New York City, Denver, and elsewhere.

High Tech High School

Teacher Students work on projects at High Tech High School, a Gates-supported charter school in San Diego.
Students work on projects at High Tech High School, a Gates-supported charter school in San Diego. The design is being replicated with support from the foundation.
——Photos courtesy of the Gates Foundation



Three grants totaling $10.2 million in 2000, 2001, and 2003 to the San Diego-based High Tech High School Foundation, both to pioneer a model small high school in that city and to copy it elsewhere.

Cristo Rey Network
Five-year grant of $9.9 million in 2003 to the Chicago-based network of Roman Catholic high schools based on its model for preparing low-income urban students for college.

Foundation for California Community Colleges
Five-year grant of $9 million in 2003 to support the development and start-up of 15 early-college high school sites in California. Early-college high schools are small schools on college campuses that let students deemed at risk academically earn combined high school diplomas and associate’s degrees, typically in five years.

EdVisions Inc.
A total of $8.9 million in 2000 and 2002 to the teacher-led cooperative to help start 35 alternative schools around the country based on the New Country Schools model, developed in the 10-year-old cooperative’s hometown of Henderson, Minn.

Aspire Public Schools
A total of $8.9 million over five years, awarded in 2000 and 2003, to the nonprofit charter-management organization, based in Redwood City, Calif., to design and open small high schools in Northern California and Los Angeles.

KIPP Foundation
Four-year grants of $8.3 million in 2003, first to study the feasibility of expanding to high schools the middle school model developed by the San Francisco-based Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP), then to start high schools based on the model in high- need areas.

Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation
Two multiyear grants totaling $8.1 million in 2002 and 2003 to the Princeton, N.J.- based foundation to start 13 early-college high schools and redesign one existing program, based on the model devised by Bard College in Annandale-on- Hudson, N.Y.

Asia Society
Grant of $7.5 million over 58 months in 2003 to form a network of small, urban secondary schools focused on international studies in New York City and other sites around the country.

Middle College National Consortium
Grant of $7.1 million in 2002 to the New York City-based consortium to start eight early-college high schools around the country and redesign 12 existing programs.

YouthBuild USA
Grant of $5.4 million over five years in 2003 to the Washington-based nonprofit organization to establish 10 YouthBuild alternative schools, which enable young people to earn their diplomas while working, as well as expand and strengthen 23 existing schools.

Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund
Grant of $5 million over five years to the New York City-based organization to redesign five low-performing high schools and open three new charter high schools using the early-college model in collaboration with historically black colleges and universities in the South.

Portland Community College
Five- year grant of $4.9 million in 2003 to support the Oregon school’s College Bound Program for former high school dropouts and to develop eight new sites using the early-college high school model.

Southeastern Consortium for Minorities in Engineering
Grant of $4.8 million over five years in 2002 to the Atlanta-based organization to establish eight small early-college high schools with science, math, technology, or engineering themes. Many of the schools are on or adjacent to historically black colleges and universities.

Corporation for Business, Work, and Learning
Five-year grant of $4.6 million in 2003 to the quasi-public workforce-development agency based in Boston (which changed its name to the Commonwealth Corp.), to improve its Diploma Plus alternative high schools and start new ones in California and Massachusetts.

Black Alliance for Educational Options
Grant of $4 million over five years in 2003 to support the creation of 15 new small high schools.

Antioch University
Grant of $3.3 million over five years to the Yellow Springs, Ohio, university’s Seattle campus to establish eight early-college models in tribal U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs schools and public schools serving Native American youths in Washington state.

Envision Schools
Five-year grant of $3 million in 2003 to the San Francisco-based nonprofit organization to support development of small, innovative, high-performing public high schools in San Francisco Bay area.

National Association of Street Schools
To the Denver- based association, a three-year grant of $1.8 million in 2003 to improve teaching practice at 20 schools and set up 10 new schools aimed at troubled youths.

See Forever Foundation
Five-year grant of $887,500 in 2003 to help the Washington-based nonprofit organization open three 150- student See Forever campuses in the capital city.

Jobs for the Future
Five-year grant of $628,761 in 2003 to facilitate the expansion of the Early College High School Initiative to include additional intermediaries and schools.

SOURCE: Compiled with information provided by the Gates Foundation.

Vol. 23, Issue 40, Pages 28-29

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