The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has announced that it’s giving $51 million over five years to the public schools in its hometown of Battle Creek, Mich., in the hopes of tackling low academic performance linked to long-standing racial inequality and segregation.
The grant ranks among the largest to a single, public K-12 school system. It will be put toward hiring early-literacy support staff, offering a free prekindergarten summer program, and crafting a plan to improve student behavior that includes alternatives to suspensions. It also will be used to launch academies aligned with students’ fields of interest, invest in the arts and athletics, and offer recruitment and retention incentives for teachers.
The gift comes after a year of planning by school officials and the release of a study that highlights decades of racial disparities in the city of about 50,000 people that’s roughly 70 percent white, 18 percent black, and 7 percent Hispanic or Latino, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.
A version of this article appeared in the May 17, 2017 edition of Education Week as Kellogg to Give $51 Million to Single School District