Pittsburgh, PA, 12/29/2009 -- The Pittsburgh Foundation will serve as fiscal agent for the historic $40 million grant awarded to the Pittsburgh Public Schools by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The grant, announced last month following a long and detailed evaluation process, is the biggest in the school district’s history and will provide funding towards major initiatives to maximize teacher effectiveness.
Pittsburgh is one of only four locations in the United States selected by the Gates Foundation as “intensive partnership sites” to support teacher effectiveness programs. The funding will help finance an estimated $85 million-plus campaign to improve the ways that teachers are recruited, inducted, evaluated, recognized and compensated.
“This is a truly ground-breaking achievement for our school district,” said Grant Oliphant, President and CEO of The Pittsburgh Foundation who served on an advisory committee to assist Pittsburgh Public Schools’ application for Gates Foundation funding. “This grant has huge symbolic and real value, and both aspects are vital.
“In real terms this helps to drive the school district towards a new and crucial phase of its successful reform efforts, and research has shown that the one factor that is so influential to student achievement is having a good teacher at the head of the classroom.
“Symbolically, this is one of the most powerful affirmations we could possibly have. It sends the message that the Pittsburgh school district is in the midst of serious reform and that this is a place where great things are happening. I believe strongly that Pittsburgh now has the potential to become the place where the nation gets to restore its faith in public education.”
The Pittsburgh Foundation has consistently supported the school district’s reform agenda and also administers The Pittsburgh Promise, which provides scholarships for city schools students while serving as a key economic stimulus for the region and as a vehicle to enhance community neighborhood development.
The Foundation will oversee the processing and disbursements of Gates grant funding to the school district and will coordinate follow up reporting between the district and the Gates Foundation.
For further information, contact:
Vice President for Communications