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Kerry, Neal: Springfield schools to receive $12 million to help minority students strengthen jobs skills

September 23, 2010
Press Release

(BOSTON) Senator John Kerry and Congressman Richard Neal announced that Springfield Public Schools (SPS) will receive $3,889,500 a year for the next three years in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Education under its Magnet Schools Assistance Program.

The Magnet Schools Assistance Program helps prevent minority students in elementary and middle schools from becoming isolated from their peers. The program also helps strengthen students' knowledge and confidence in core academic subjects and with marketable vocational skills.

Kerry has long been a supporter of Springfield’s magnet school program. Earlier this year he wrote a letter to the U.S. Department of Education in support of SPS’s grant application, and has done so for the past 15 years.

“Springfield is working hard to help students succeed and this latest investment is a boost to that effort,” said Senator Kerry. “These programs empower kids from historically underserved areas to be more competitive in the job market once they graduate.”

“This significant investment in the Springfield Public Schools will promote diversity and help our students learn and grow. As a former teacher, I believe we must promote innovative education reforms that will help students increase their academic performance. That is the goal of this program and the beneficiaries will be the students who attend the magnet schools at both Sci Tech and Van Sickle,” said Congressman Richard E. Neal.

“This is great news. We are thrilled that the U.S. Department of Education has again honored our efforts to create visionary, student-centered, theme-driven magnet school programming as a viable choice available to all of students. By augmenting 21st Century Global Communication skills with the Arts, advanced STEM education and Expeditionary Learning, we will be able to offer an array of choices to Springfield families unparalleled in Western Massachusetts,” said Springfield Superintendent of Schools Dr. Alan J. Ingram.

Since 1995, the Springfield Public School system has received six consecutive three-year grants, totaling more than $40 million, to fund its Magnet schools.

The following schools, and their proposed themes, will utilize the funding. Springfield Central High School (Advanced Studies and the Arts); Springfield High School of Science and Technology (STEM Academies and 21st Century Communications); Van Sickle Middle School (Middle Years International Baccalaureate Program and 21st Century Global Communications); and STEM Middle Academy (STEM and Expeditionary Learning). Approximately 4,600 Springfield students will benefit from the program.

For more information about the program please visit https://www2.ed.gov/programs/magnet/index.html.