Press Releases

Roe Congratulates The Niswonger Foundation

Foundation awarded grant for over $17 million by the

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Washington, September 29, 2010 | comments
WASHINGTON, DC – The Niswonger Foundation was awarded a grant in the amount of $17,751,044 for the period 10/01/2010 through 09/30/2015 from the United States Department of Education. The Niswonger Foundation will receive this funding through the Investing in Innovation – Validations Grant Program.

U.S. Congressman Phil Roe, M.D. (TN-01) said: “I am pleased the Niswonger Foundation will receive this grant from the US Department of Education. Education is an investment into a child’s future, and quality education spurs economic growth. This funding will help ensure that every child receives a quality education that is affordable and accessible. I thank the Niswonger Foundation for the work they are doing in the First District of Tennessee.”

The Niswonger Foundation, one of the strongest rural operating education foundations in the nation, is partnering with 15 local education agencies in Appalachia to establish the Northeast Tennessee College and Career Ready Consortium. The 15 partner LEAs include Bristol Tennessee City Schools, Carter County Schools, Cocke County School System, Elizabethton Tennessee City Schools, Greene County Schools, Greeneville City Schools, Hamblen County Schools, Hancock County Public Schools, Hawkins County Schools, Johnson City Schools, Johnson County Schools, Kingsport City Schools, Sullivan County Department of Education, Unicoi County School System, and Washington County School District.

The Consortium plans to expand access to rigorous courses by:

• Creating a regional coordinating body that will analyze course supply and demand in the region and determine courses needs;
• Scaling up local promising practices to offer more rigorous courses, including distance and online learning, Advanced Placement, and dual enrollment; and
• Providing new resources on college preparedness, access, and application processes via college counselors.

Key objectives over the five-year grant period include:

• Offering an additional 45,646 seats in rigorous courses to high school students in the region, with an additional 15,804 seats in these courses being provided annually after the grant ends;
• Ensuring that by 2013-14 at least 10% of students in the region graduate from high school with a full year of college credits, and an additional 20% of high school students graduate with at least half a year of credit; and
• Increasing the region’s college enrollment and persistence rates by at least 10% by 2014-15.

To ensure sustainability, LEAs will have incorporated over 80% of the grant costs into their annual operating budgets by 2014-15. The Consortium has a strong set of state and national partners that will help scale the grant in two other regions of the state beginning in 2013-14 if the project proves successful.

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Tags: Education