NC Project Wins $15 Million Education Award...if it can raise 10 percent

Nov 25, 2011

The North Carolina New Schools Project, a joint private and public endeavor, is a recipient of the U.S. Department of Education’s “Investing in Innovation” award.

WHQR’s Michelle Bliss reports that in order to receive the award of 15 million dollars, the project and the state must raise $1.5 million in mere weeks.

The state’s New Schools Project is one of 23 recipients out of a pool of 600 applicants.

Part of the deal is that the private sector must pledge donations to cover 10 percent of the award.

Since 2003, the project has started 74 early college high schools where students can earn up to two years of college credit.

President Tony Habit says the money would expand their reach.

“Up to ten rural communities will be enrolled to take the lessons learned from early college and apply some of those same strategies in their traditional schools. And we’re projecting about 20,000 students actually benefitting from this investment.”

Habit says there’s been an intense flurry of activity as his staff and the state work to raise funds at rapid-fire speed.

“Partners in business and industry, and foundations, have stepped up and begun to ask us what they can do to be supportive. Those conversations are going on as we speak. And we’re also delighted that some national foundations have reached out to us and are now making trips to North Carolina.”

Habit and his staff, along with Governor Bev Perdue, have a tight fundraising deadline of December 9.

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