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Education

Bill Gates Just Gave $100 Million to Impoverished US Schools

Why Global Citizens Should Care
Educated and healthy children will lead their communities out of poverty. 870 million children are counting on you to help secure their right to education. Across the US, education budget cuts limit resources for children’s learning environments. Join us in taking action on this issue here.

Bill Gates is on a roll. 

After the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation amplified donations to a help teachers stock their classrooms with school supplies last week, the Microsoft founder and philanthropist is now determined to help US schools more directly.

The foundation plans to lift up impoverished public schools by funding third-party groups, many of which already have an established relationship with the Gates Foundation, according to AP

Take Action: Call on US Government and Business Leaders to #FundEducation

The foundation released on Tuesday the first round of almost $100 million for 19 programs working with middle and high schools within communities living in poverty across 13 states. The funding is part of a larger $460 million budget which will be distributed over the next five years, to assist low-income students and send more communities of color to college. 

Gates’ grants will make it possible for schools to work with supportive networks including charter management organizations and non-profits. The goals include putting students on a path to undergraduate education by instilling mathematic and English proficiency, and guiding high schoolers through the application process. Each group will use school specific information to address the issues holding each particular student body back. 

Read More: A Stranger Handed This Teacher $500 to Help Her Low-Income Students

"We're not inventing anything in this strategy," Bob Hughes, who leads Gates' K-12 education program, told AP. “We're taking what we learned from research and experience.”

Read More: Bill & Melinda Gates Just Gave Teachers a Back-to-School Boost

Tackling education from a local and regional level is a relatively new approach for the Gates Foundation, which previously supported national efforts geared towards school sizes, meeting academic standards, and teacher ratings. After championing the Common Core State Standards, Gates was met with his fair share of criticism. Intended to give all children an equal education with $280 million, many parents and teachers alike felt the approach was too vague.

Now, granting more support for individualized proposals could change that.