Gates Gives $2M for LaGuardia High Schools

Next fall two new public high schools will open their doors under LaGuardia Community College auspices, thanks to a $2 million award from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This is part of a $51.2 million donation aimed at creating 67 new small high schools citywide.

Citing the fact that “nearly one in three eighth-graders in America will not graduate from high school,” Bill Gates said that New York City “is demonstrating how we can make sure that all students, not just a select few, are prepared for college and the workplace.” The gift, says LaGuardia President Gail Mellow, “will not only enable us to create two international high schools in the city, but also to establish models for the nation.”

The two pocket high schools, serving about 400 new immigrants each, will be modeled upon the highly successful academic formula of LaGuardia’s own International High School, which opened in 1985 and attracted a Federal Academic Excellence Grant in 1992. The school boasts a more than 90% graduation rate, and 90% of those students go on to college.

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