The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced this month that seven school districts will receive a total of $25 million in grant money aimed at supporting district-based efforts to foster collaboration and reduce tension between district schools and charter schools. The Philadelphia, Boston, Denver, New Orleans, New York, Hartford, Conn., and Spring Branch, Texas, school districts will receive between $2.2 million and $5 million from the Seattle-based foundation. (The Gates Foundation also provides funding to Education Week.)
The grant recipients will focus on joint professional development for charter and district teachers, common-core implementation, personalized learning experiences, universal enrollment systems for all public schools, and common measures to facilitate clear evaluation of schools. The districts are also to share best practices and resources. Relations between districts and public charter schools are often strained, as the two are sometimes perceived to be in competition with one another for resources and students.
A version of this article appeared in the December 12, 2012 edition of Education Week as Grants Aim to Foster District-Charter Links