Columbia Schools Get $10,000 Grant

6 years 4 months 3 weeks ago August 25, 2010 Aug 25, 2010 Wednesday, August 25 2010 Wednesday, August 25, 2010 10:50:30 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Public Schools got a check for $10,000 Tuesday from the National Education Association to help disadvantaged students and their families.

At Alpha Hart Lewis Elementary, CPS superintendent Chris Belcher said the programs are a larger part of the district's efforts to narrow the disparity in test scores between rich and poor students.

"To become the best school district in the state, we do have to address one of our biggest problems, which is the achievement gap," Belcher said.

According to district figures, four out of every ten students in Columbia public schools get free or reduced-price lunch. This number explodes for minority students: 62% of Hispanic students and 77% of African-American students receive meal assistance.

CPS officials said that success at school is often linked to parental involvement, which is linked to race and class.

NEA officials said that they gave the grant to CPS because the district has long worked on closing the achievement gap.

"We know the kinds of things you're doing that make such a difference for students everyday, and if your desire is to do more, we want to assist," said union president Dennis Van Roekel.

Belcher said that his first plan to spend the money is for a survey of Columbia citizens this October about education issues.

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