LISC and the Walton Family Foundation have announced the first recipients of the Spark Opportunity Grant Program, a $2 million initiative to provide planning grants to support the creation of affordable facilities for schools in Opportunity Zones and other under-resourced communities. Twenty-six high-performing schools will receive the initial round of funding, and a second round is already open to applicants.
Rubinger Fellow Juanita Woods is a community development practitioner and city council member in Monroe, LA who specializes in helping people skill up to take on living-wage jobs with local employers. She spoke with LISC about her fellowship project to provide apprenticeships for young people, the challenges of wealth-building in historically underserved communities, and the inspiration she gets from empowering youth on their life journeys.
As lawmakers in Providence confront a crisis in the state’s school system, LISC Rhode Island ED Jeanne Cola weighs in with an appeal to consider the comprehensive factors that contribute to students’ struggles, or successes—particularly housing. “As we look at bold ways to improve dismal test scores and address high absenteeism…now is the time to take a holistic approach and provide a consistent funding mechanism to add, or restore, stable and secure housing for Rhode Island residents,” she writes in an op-ed for The Providence Journal.
LISC and the Walton Family Foundation have launched a new grant program to help charter school operators open facilities in Opportunity Zones and other under-capitalized communities. Applications are available beginning October 1.
LISC has launched a new program to help connect charter school operators to experts in facilities development. Called SchoolPrint: Charter School Project Management, the program will advance development plans that deliver top-notch school facilities while also keeping dollars in the classroom. “Our goal is to protect the interests of students and teachers, and to fuel the development of schools that are assets to their communities,” noted LISC's Eva Schweitzer.