Kan. District Continues 'Next Century' Reforms

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Kansas City, Kan., school officials last month agreed to provide partial funding for reforms at a local school that were begun with a grant in 1990 from the RJR Nabisco Foundation's "Next Century Schools'' program.

Officials also said they would replicate in all of the city's schools components of the initiative at the New Stanley Elementary School, whose three-year, $750,000 grant is set to expire shortly.

Educators at New Stanley have used the money to lengthen the school year, improve staff development, and develop an outcome-based curriculum. (See Education Week, June 10, 1992.)

"We're thrilled, obviously,'' said Jacquie Gehring, New Stanley's facilitator of instruction and staff development, of the district's decision. "We think we're on the right track here, and we want the time to continue to experiment and to continue to develop our program.''

"We're also kind of funding ourselves,'' Ms. Gehring added. She estimated that $165,000 of the program's $238,000 annual cost--most of which goes for additional staff pay--will be covered by New Stanley's federal Chapter 1 remedial-education funding. Most other remaining costs, for transportation, food, and utilities, will be picked up by the district.

This spring the foundation awarded matching grants of $50,000 to $100,000 each to five of the 14 schools that won the first round of awards in 1990. The new money is intended to help the schools replicate their programs. (See Education Week, April 28, 1993.)

It is unclear whether the other first-round schools will, like New Stanley Elementary, continue their programs after their grants lapse. The foundation has asked all grant winners to report by Aug. 1 on their plans for the future, according to David Sandor, a spokesman for the foundation.--M.S.

Vol. 12, Issue extra edition

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