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NC Education Program Secures $15 Million Federal Grant


A mold-breaking education initiative in North Carolina is now a major step closer to taking home a piece of the federal recovery fund pie.

WHQR’s Michelle Bliss reports that the state’s New Schools Project has scrambled to raise $1.5 million dollars in mere weeks.

Accomplishing such a daunting feat has helped the project secure a $15 million grant from the Investing in Innovation Fund.

From a pool of nearly 600 applicants, the U.S. Department of Education gave just 23 organizations a shot at the pot. The North Carolina New Schools Project is now one of only five programs across the country eligible for the full 15 million dollars.

President Tony Habit says the grant would allow his team to help traditionally low-performing schools set up early college programs.  

“We have a lot of lower-wealth, rural communities who are prepared to take significant steps forward. And so, we’ll be looking for those communities that are ready for that work.”

Already, students at more than 70 early colleges across the state can earn college credit along with a high school diploma.

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After growing up in Woodbridge, Virginia, Michelle attended Virginia Tech before moving to Wilmington to complete her Master in Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina in Wilmington. Her reporting and nonfiction writing have been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, within the pages of Wrightsville Beach Magazine, and in literary journals like River Teeth and Ninth Letter. Before moving to Wilmington, Michelle served as the general manager for WUVT, a community radio station in Blacksburg, Virginia. She lives with her husband Scott and their pups, Katie, Cooper, and Mosey.