Philadelphia School Partnership awards $3.8 million in grants

Posted: July 20, 2012

The Philadelphia School Partnership today announced it has awarded grants totalling $3.8 million to support successful district, charter and private schools.

"Great schools come in all different types but share key characteristics, chiefly high expectations and the belief that all students can learn," said Mark Gleason, the partnership's executive director.

The nonprofit partnership is seeking to raise $100 million over five years to accelerate the pace of academic reform in city schools.

The latest round of grants are:

$2 million to String Theory Schools to help it convert the low-performing H.R. Edmunds Elementary School in Frankford into a Renaissance charter school. String Theory operates the successful Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School.

$1.3 million over three years to assist the Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School, a private, college-prep school for low-income students that will open in North Philadelphia in August. Schools in the national Cristo Rey network require students to participate in a work-study internship program to help cover their tuition.

$350,000 to Freire Charter School, a Center City high school, to help it expand to add a middle school program with 500 students in grades five through eight.

$175,000 to help The Sustainability Workshop develop plans to expand from a program at the Philadelphia Navy Yard with 30 seniors from district schools in South Philadelphia to a 300-student high school in 2013.

Last fall, the partnership inaugurated its grants program by distributing $2.4 million to three local charter operators that the Philadelpia School Reform Commission had selected to convert low-performing district schools into Renaissance charter schools.

Gleason said the partnership was pleased to be able to diversify the awards in this round of grants.

He said funding for these grants was in place before the William Penn Foundation's recent announcement it would give the partnership $15 million over the next three year to support innovations in Philadelphia public, private, and charter schools.

Contact Martha Woodall at 215-854-2789 or at

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