For Immediate Release - August 06, 2012

Patrick-Murray Administration Announces Grants to Support Career Education and English Language Instruction for Students across the Commonwealth

Grants will advance work of Gateway Cities Education Agenda in closing achievement gaps; preparing all students for success in 21st century

BOSTON – Monday, August 6, 2012 – The Patrick-Murray Administration today announced it will award competitive grants to support early career education and intensive English Language instruction for students in Gateway Cities as part of the Administration’s Gateway Cities Education Agenda.  The Executive Office of Education (EOE) has now issued Requests for Proposals (RFPs) to establish Career Academies and intensive enrichment academies for English language learners in several Massachusetts communities.  

The Gateway Cities Education Agenda, first proposed by Governor Deval Patrick in November 2011, aims to close the persistent achievement gaps that disproportionately affect students living in poverty, students of color, students with disabilities, and students who are English language learners in the Commonwealth’s Gateway Cities.  Key pillars of this agenda include providing middle and high school English language learners with targeted and accelerated opportunities to learn the English language and increase academic achievement; and providing high school students with career information and guidance earlier in their academic careers.

“The Commonwealth’s record of student achievement is second to none and a model for the nation,” said Governor Patrick. “I am proud of the progress we have made, but we won’t be satisfied until every student, regardless of zip code, has access to a world class education system that prepares them for success in the classroom and beyond.”

“As we invest in a high quality education system, we must ensure all students have the opportunity to succeed in the classroom,” said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray.  “Through our Gateway Cities Education Agenda, we are moving forward to provide an equal playing field for all students to achieve academic excellence.”

“I commend the Patrick-Murray Administration for securing these monies for students in the Commonwealth,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo. “As Massachusetts looks to position itself for a bright fiscal future, we must continue to focus on improving the state’s education system so that the students of today will be well-prepared to lead tomorrow.”

“These funds will help us ensure that all students have the supports they need to achieve at high levels,” said Education Secretary Paul Reville.  “I look forward to seeing our Gateway communities think creatively about how to tackle these important issues and develop bold new programs that will ultimately benefit students in the whole of the Commonwealth.”  

“Pittsfield and all Gateway Cities face unique education challenges,” said Senator Ben Downing, Co-Chairman of the Gateway Cities Caucus. “The grants offered under the Gateway Cities Education Agenda will pioneer enhanced programs in English language proficiency and career guidance to help eliminate the achievement gap."  

“The Gateway Cities Legislative Caucus could not have a better partner for our cities than the Patrick-Murray Administration,” said Representative Antonio F.D. Cabral of New Bedford, Co-Chairman of the Gateway Cities Caucus.  “Governor Patrick understands that education is the key to achieving all of our goals, from jobs and economic development to safe streets and an improved quality of life.  The Gateway Cities Education Agenda is an important step forward.”

The EOE was awarded a total of $3.5 million in new funding in the fiscal year 2013 budget to fund these grant competitions in the Gateway Cities.  Grant funding will be awarded as follows.

  • Career Academies Planning Grants (totaling $500,000) – Grants will be awarded to support planning activities related to the establishment of Career Academies that will operate by September 2013.  These Academies will provide students with greater opportunities for early career exploration, offer more motivating educational experiences through applied learning opportunities both in and out of the classroom, and create multiple and seamless pathways to postsecondary educational and employment opportunities.  Grant recipients will also establish Education and Industry Coordinating Councils (EICCs) that are co-chaired by the public school district superintendent and the chair of the local Workforce Investment Board and include representatives from district high schools and charter schools, public and private institutions of higher education, industry partners, and local/regional employers.  Among other responsibilities, the EICCs will create robust job-embedded learning opportunities such as internships and externships for students enrolled in the Career Academies.  Grantees will be awarded up to $75,000. 
  • English Language Learners Enrichment Academies Grants (totaling $3 million) – Grants will be awarded to operate Summer English Learning Academies during the summer of 2013 that will provide middle and high school English language learners in their communities with high-intensity, tailored learning opportunities.  Grants will also be awarded to operate Summer English Learning Academies plus supplementary enrichment programs during the spring of 2013 including after-school sessions, Saturday programs, or sessions during the April school vacation week.  The summer academies will offer full-day services to students for at least four days per week and four consecutive weeks.  All academies will be geared toward middle and high school students classified as English language learners and will accelerate students’ acquisition of English language and literacy skills in varied learning environments.  Grantees will be awarded up to $350,000. 

The mayor (or equivalent head of municipal government) and the public school district superintendent must submit a Statement of Interest on behalf of eligible applicants in a Gateway City by Friday, August 31, 2012. Final grant proposals are due November 2, 2012 and awardees will be selected in November 2012.  

For detailed information about each of the grant programs, please visit www.ma.gov/edu/gatewaycities.

 

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