Tulsa Public Schools Selected For Gates Foundation Grant

Wednesday, January 29th 2014, 9:50 am
By: Emory Bryan

Tulsa Public Schools has been selected for a $100,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Previous Gates Foundation grants in the same selection process have averaged $3.3 million dollars.

The Gates Foundation made announcement at noon Wednesday. TPS Superintendent Keith Ballard was scheduled to be in Houston for the announcement, but a district spokeswoman said later that he was unable to make the trip.

The Gates Foundation described it as a new effort at collaboration between charter schools and the school districts they serve. 

According to a news release from the foundation, the grant will allow TPS to focus on improving educational outcomes for all students, including:

• Joint professional development for teachers in public charter and district schools
• Implementing the Common Core State Standards with aligned instructional tools and supports for teachers
• Creating personalized learning experiences for students
• Universal enrollment system for all public schools in a city
• Common metrics to help families evaluate all schools on consistent criteria.

In 2012, Gates awarded $25 million to seven cities in the same grant process.

TPS Spokesman Chris Payne said Tulsa's grant award will help "increase transparency with the sharing of data and best practices between school districts and the charter schools."

TPS has sponsored three charter schools; the Tulsa School for Arts & Sciences, Lighthouse Charter and KIPP.

Copy of Tulsa Public School's newly-revised charter compact

School leaders from Aldine, Texas; San Jose, California; Spokane, Washington and Lawrence, Massachusetts took part in the announcement.