DISD Hoping To Boost Graduation Rates With New Grant Program Partnership

Chris Sommer
August 28, 2018 - 5:48 pm
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DALLAS (KRLD) - The Dallas Independent School District is part of a new grant program that hopes to boost graduation rates - and the future prospects - for low-income students.

The Dallas ISD is receiving $7.5 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  The district will work in conjunction with the University of Pittsburgh.  The Dallas ISD's Shannon Trejo said, "It's a multi-year, multi-million-dollar, grant that's focused on increasing the number of African-American, Latino, English-learner and low-income students in what's called their on-track placement, beginning in ninth-grade.  That's their ability to graduate on time, and to get into college and be on track to be successful in the labor market."

A total of 12 campuses across the district will take part in the program.  Trejo said, "We will be able to utilize the university's training, expertise and implementation cycles to help make our students in Dallas ISD a huge part of that successful grant."

The Dallas ISD recently received a "B" in the state's new school rating system.  Trejo said the grant money will allow the district to take a closer look at reading and writing skills for eighth- and ninth-graders, "Part of that "B" encompasses students being able to meet expectations on their state assessments, as well as demonstrate their writing skills.  And the grant will specifically support those two areas."

The Dallas school district is one of only two recipients in Texas. The group Educate Texas is getting 500-thousand-dollars to help improve math scores at schools across the area.

The Gates Foundation awarded $92 million to 19 school systems nationwide, with a mission of helping low-income students realize and fulfill their potential.