Battle Creek schools awarded ‘transformational’ $51M grant

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — Battle Creek Public Schools is getting a $51 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to make top-to-bottom changes to the district.

BCPS and foundation leaders made the announcement Friday morning on Facebook Live.

The foundation said the five-year grant will be aimed at growing educational programs and fortifying teaching staff by providing:

  • Incentives to recruit and retain teachers, including professional development
  • A full day pre-kindergarten summer transition program
  • An extended pre-kindergarten school year
  • Implementation of an Intermediate STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) academy
  • College preparatory resources, including an Early/Middle College program, an International Baccalaureate program and academies aligned
  • with fields of interest
  • Enhanced academic program support for all learners
  • Comprehensive behavior education plan focused on alternatives to school suspension
  • Investment in the arts and athletics
  • Early literacy support personnel
  • Innovative curriculum at all grade levels

Superintendent Kim Carter said the changes will boost student achievement, graduation rates and teacher retention while curbing student absenteeism, suspensions and dropout rates.

“So there you have it: 51 million reasons to smile,” said AJ Jones, chief of staff for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

The Kellogg Foundation publicly committed to helping BCPS earlier this year after a New York University study uncovered “significant disinvestments” in the district compared to surrounding schools, rooted in decades of racial segregation, according to the foundation.