For Immediate Release - February 14, 2014


Grants will provide targeted support for English language learners, increase career readiness for students as part of Gateway Cities Education Agenda

Visit to Parthum Middle School
Governor Patrick joins Mayor Daniel Rivera to make an announcement relative to early career education and English Language instruction for students in Gateway Cities at Parthum Middle School in Lawrence. (Photo: Spencer Crispino / Governor's Office)

LAWRENCE – Friday, February 14, 2014 – Governor Deval Patrick today announced over $3 million in new funding 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. This funding will further the Patrick Administration’s efforts to close persistent achievement gaps and build a 21st century public education system that prepares all students to succeed in the classroom, the workplace and in life.

“Achievement gaps hurt all of us and are completely unnecessary,” said Governor Patrick. “These grants will provide targeted resources to enable all our children to succeed.”

The Gateway Cities Education Agenda, first proposed by Governor Patrick in November 2011, aims to close the persistent achievement gaps that disproportionately affect children living in poverty, students of color, students who are English language learners and students with disabilities, many of whom are heavily concentrated in the Commonwealth’s 26 Gateway Cities.

The awards were announced at the Parthum Middle School in Lawrence, one of the districts that will receive grant funding. The awards are the second round of competitive grant programs, first proposed by Governor Patrick in Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 to support early career education and intensive English Language instruction for students in Gateway Cities. Funded through the FY 2014 budget, the funding includes just over $1 million to support new grants to school districts to establish Career Academies and enrichment academies for English language learners, and $2.2 million to school districts that received grants last year so that they can continue to provide targeted support to students.

The first round of Gateway Cities grant awards is already having positive impact on students in our Gateway Cities. As a result of receiving Career Academies planning grants, school districts are working with workforce development partners and employers to provide students with career-focused curricula and real-world learning opportunities. Students in these school districts are learning about career opportunities at the start of high school as opposed the end of their senior year, and educators are working with local and regional employers to provide internships for these students. These students will have the information and experiences that they need to be successful in different types of careers as well as essential contributors to our innovation economy.

In the Gateway Cities that received English Language Learners Enrichment Academies grants, educators are working with colleges and universities, community-based organizations and non-profit organizations to operate intensive and accelerated English language instruction to middle and high school students. In these communities, students are significantly enhancing their English language skills, which will prepare them to succeed in college, career and beyond.

“I am thrilled about the level of engagement in this work as well as the relationships that have been created among K-12 districts, higher education institutions, industry and workforce development partners, and community-based organizations to better serve our students,” said Secretary of Education Matthew Malone. “We need to meet each student where they are and give them the supports they need to be successful.”

“Our City is honored and delighted to be the host of Governor Patrick, his Cabinet, and the Gateway Cities grant announcements,” said Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera. “These efforts speak volumes about the importance of education and collaboration between cities to ensure the success of our students. With dropout statistics decreasing and graduation statistics increasing , it gives us that much more to be proud about in the City of Lawrence. I thank the Governor and the Cabinet for helping to make Lawrence better with this funding support, and I look forward to working closely with Gateway Cities.”

The FY 2013 budget included $3.5 million to fund grant competitions in the Gateway Cities. In January 2013, the Administration awarded 10 Career Academies planning grants to promote career education and hands-on learning opportunities for high school students, and 12 English Language Learners Enrichment Academies grants to support the establishment of English language enrichment programs for middle and high school students. The FY 2014 budget includes $3.5 million for a second year of these grants. The Governor proposed a $4 million investment for these grants in his FY 2015 budget.

The English language enrichment academies, which include Summer English Language Academies and can also include after-school, Saturday or April vacation programs, provide middle and high school English language learners in awarded communities with high-intensity learning opportunities. All academies will be geared toward middle and high school students classified as English language learners and will accelerate their acquisition of English language and literacy skills in varied learning environments. These enrichment programs will also be operated by strong local networks that include educators plus school and district educators plus representatives from institutions of higher education and community partners.

New grant recipients will receive funding to establish new enrichment programs. Continuation grant recipients will receive funding to continue the operation of programs that were established during the spring or summer of 2013.

Career Academies increase career readiness by providing high school students with greater opportunities for early career exploration, increasing access to motivating educational experiences through applied learning opportunities both in and out of the classroom, and by creating multiple and seamless pathways to postsecondary educational and employment opportunities.  The Career Academies will be operated and supported by strong local networks that include school and district educators plus representatives from Workforce Investment Boards, institutions of higher education, community partners, and local/regional employers.

New grant recipients will receive funding to engage in planning activities that will result in the operation of a Career Academy in their district by September 2014. Continuation grant recipients will receive funding to expand upon planning activities that were conducted in FY2013, and these recipients will fully operate their Career Academies by September 2014.

Career Academies Planning Grants:

New Grant Award:

  • Haverhill -- $45,000

Continuation Grant Awards:

  • Barnstable -- $45,000
  • Fall River -- $45,000
  • Lowell -- $45,000
  • Methuen -- $45,000
  • Worcester -- $45,000

English Language Learners Enrichment Academies Grants:

New Grant Awards:

  • Chelsea -- $105,000
  • Everett -- $130,000
  • Lawrence -- $145,000
  • Methuen -- $100,000
  • New Bedford -- $135,000
  • Taunton -- $100,000
  • Westfield -- $100,000
  • Worcester -- $185,000

Continuation Grant Awards:

  • Brockton -- $75,000
  • Fall River -- $195,000
  • Fitchburg -- $195,000
  • Haverhill -- $195,000
  • Holyoke -- $195,000
  • Lowell -- $185,000
  • Lynn -- $190,000
  • Malden -- $185,000
  • Pittsfield -- $125,000
  • Quincy -- $155,000
  • Revere -- $190,000
  • Salem -- $115,000

Governor Patrick and Mayor Rivera on Friday also toured Everett Mills, a growing business center with a diverse tenant mix in the city. The 525,000 square foot facility provides first-class office space to local health and human service providers, high tech businesses, and manufacturers. The Governor toured one of the advanced manufacturers at the space, 99 Degrees Custom, which combines lean manufacturing with innovative technology, automation and operations systems to manufacture and ship custom apparel within days of an order. By collaborating with our regional partners, such as Everett Mills, Massachusetts remains on the cutting-edge in supporting the growth of the 21st century advanced manufacturing workforce.

In recent years, Lawrence has received several MassWorks and CDAG infrastructure grants totaling over $9 million to assist with the redevelopment of Union Crossing, the Lawrence Gateway Quadrant Area, the Riverwalk Properties, Washington Mills and Essex St. Roadway. The 2013 MassWorks round invested $894,696 in Lawrence to help fund the Lawrence Higher Education Campus Infrastructure Improvement Project.

To learn more about the Governor’s Gateway Cities Education Agenda, visit

Statements of support

"Today is a great day for the City of Lawrence,” said Senator Barry Finegold. “I applaud Governor Patrick for holding true to his commitment to improving our Gateway Cities and addressing the challenges they face. The supports provided through this grant truly offer a helping hand and provide our families greater opportunity through education."

“The Fitchburg Public Schools, through this grant, will be able to enhance exposure for high school students to an array of career pathways and post high school opportunities, such as attending a higher education institution,” said Senator Jennifer Flanagan. “I’m thankful to the Administration for awarding this funding to Fitchburg.”

“I am pleased to hear that funds have been awarded to these educational programs,” said Senator Thomas McGee. “During such difficult economic times, it is important that we continue to support initiatives that help to prepare students to succeed both in the classroom and the workplace.”

“Gateways Cities, such as the City of Worcester, have a strong history of innovation and supporting the growth of the Commonwealth,” said Senator Michael O. Moore. “This continued priority of properly funding education will not only allow the Gateway Cities to succeed both academically and economically, but will further ensure Massachusetts will remain a global leader.”

“These Gateway Cities Education grants will provide access to important career-focused learning and literacy instruction for students in the Merrimack Valley,” said Senator Kathleen O’Connor Ives. “Early attention on career readiness has proven to be a successful model and I appreciate the Governor’s commitment to expanding these opportunities in our schools.”

“Employers throughout the Merrimack Valley have called upon the Governor and the Legislature to better prepare our students to provide a more skilled work force,” said Representative Linda Campbell. “This program is targeted directly to this need - and demonstrates  how effective and responsive government programs can be when we work hand-in-hand with our business, education and local leaders.”

“I am truly delighted by this announcement of additional funds to support students in Gateway Cities, including my communities in Lawrence, Methuen and Haverhill,” said Representative Diana DiZoglio. “This is funding that will prove invaluable in assisting our efforts to help students succeed, both in and out of the classroom.”

"As a Gateway City, Fall River's youth deserve a chance to experience the best education possible, which will help them acquire the skills to enjoy success in their careers,” said Representative Carole Fiola. “This allocation provides just that, and I would like to thank Governor Patrick for the announcement of the continuation of this funding."

“I am very pleased that the first round of Gateway City grants were awarded to Lawrence to significantly enhance English language skills in our schools,” said Representative Frank Moran.

"Thank you to the Patrick Administration for continuing to support education and closing the achievement gap in our Gateway Cities,” said Representative Paul Schmid. “I look forward to seeing this money implemented in both Fall River and New Bedford to better meet the needs of our most vulnerable students."

"We are thrilled to be among the recipients of a Continuation Grant Award from the Governor to continue our efforts in supporting our students here in Holyoke,” said Representative Aaron Vega. “Making sure our English-language learners have the support they need to flourish in school is critical to both their future graduation and also in turn the economic success of Holyoke. Having the continued support of the state demonstrates that our programs are moving in the right direction; it is critical that we can count on this funding to continue and strengthen these programs."

“The funding and support provided by Governor Patrick through the English Language Learners Enrichment Academies Grant has had a profoundly positive impact on students here in Salem,” said Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll. “As we continue to implement our own accelerated improvement plan to close the achievement gap in our public schools, a key component of our strategy has been an increased focus on boosting literacy skills and learning opportunities for our many English language learners.”

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