School Board applies for $1 million grant

From Education and Workforce Innovation Fund
Dec. 20, 2013 @ 08:52 AM

Rutherford County Schools is applying for a $1 million North Carolina Education and Workforce Innovation Grant.

The fund awards grants to successful innovative education programs that combine academic rigor and skills development with the goal of graduating every student both college and career ready, Rutherford County Schools Superintendent Dr. Janet Mason said Thursday during a special meeting of the Board of Education.

The program was established by the North Carolina General Assembly for the intent to foster innovation in education that will lead to more students graduating high school.

Ambitious plans will include accelerated strategies in five core areas including: aligning public schools with business and industry and colleges/universities;providing greater choice for parents/guardians among high quality education options; enhancing teacher and principal effectiveness;  ensuring all students possess job-ready skills and leveraging technology to drive both student and teacher learning.

If awarded, the grant will be matched by $200,000 in local funds.

Mason said the match can be In-Kind grants and the schools will use its mentoring services as the In-Kind match.

Mason said a minimum of 3,100 mentoring hours have been given through the McNair Education Foundation and the hours will more than meet the match requirement.

Isothermal Community College and the Rutherford County business community are partners with the schools in the grant, a condition of the application.

Mason applauded the support of the Rutherford County community. Along with Isothermal other partners include Rutherford County Economic Development Commission, Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce, Horsehead Inc. and Facebook.

"We've have significant support for the grant from all across the county," Mason said. The grant approvals will be  announced in February and if awarded, Rutherford County Schools will have its funds by April.

"We will be able to use these funds in this school year," Mason said.