Harvest renews grant for local schools

April 25, 2010

Henry County, Martinsville City and Carlisle Schools will receive $4,385,000 over five years in the second part of the Harvest Foundation’s multi-year K-12 Education Initiative.

The funding is the initiative’s Phase II and will be used to support professional development programs and expenses within the schools, according to a news release from the foundation.

The last two years of the funding schedule are contingent upon an evaluation of the first three years, the release stated.

Martinsville schools Superintendent Scott Kizner said the city will get $150,000 a year to be used toward employees’ professional development expenses.

The city schools’ approved fiscal 2011 budget includes the Harvest funds, and the money will have no impact on the schools’ budget shortfalls or the amount of city funding the schools are seeking for the new fiscal year that will start July 1, according to Kizner.

“It’s not really new money,” but rather money that the schools were expecting, he said.

The funding “doesn’t change the condition of our budget,” said Anthony Jackson, Henry County Schools superintendent. Those funds are specifically designated for professional development programs, he said, and will not be used in other areas.

The money will “allow us to continue to invest in professional development for our teachers ... which has helped us improve student performance,” said Jackson.

Phase I of the initiative focused on improving Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) scores, as well as closing the achievement gap between students, the release stated. The foundation chose to renew the funding based on the success of Phase I, it added.


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