Butterfield announces education grant

Washington, D.C. -— Congressman G. K. Butterfield announced a $2.3 million federal grant on Friday that Elizabeth City State University will use to help improve nine area schools.

“This is an enormous opportunity to make a lasting difference,” Butterfield said.

Under this program, Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) will partner with schools in Bertie, Chowan, Edgecombe, Halifax-Weldon City, Northampton, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Warren and Washington counties in an effort to improve the schools through professional development and by working to increase the number of certified principals and assistant principals.

ECSU will use the funds from the U.S. Department of Education’s School Leadership Program over five years to implement the North Carolina School Leadership Program (NNCSLP). The School Leadership Program provides competitive grants to assist high-need local educational agencies (LEAs) with recruiting, training, and retaining principals and assistant principals.

To qualify as a high-need LEA it must either serve at least 10,000 children from low-income families or serve a community in which at least 20 percent of children are from low-income families; and, must have a high percentage of teachers teaching either outside of their certification or with emergency, provisional or temporary certification.

Under the program, 244 principals, assistant principals and school improvement plan members will undertake professional development activities focused on enhancing student achievement. Additionally, the program aims at ensuring that at least 54 principals and assistant principals complete their Master’s in School Administration.

Butterfield said this funding is particularly import for these schools to help meet the standards set by the state’s ABCs accountability program. Under that program, individual schools are held accountable for student performance. He said this program targets the School Improvement Teams, which are responsible for developing the School Improvement Plans and Framework Action Plans.