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State of Illinois - Governor Blagojevich 

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News

For Immediate Release
July 20, 2004

ISBE awards 21st Century Grants to
help close achievement gap

(Springfield, Ill.) - The Illinois State Board of Education released a list of 45 school organizations and education partners that will receive 21st Century Grants worth more than $80 million dollars over the next five years.

"There are plenty of people who like to focus on what's wrong with education, and many of those same people say that it's high time we close the achievement gap," Schiller said. "Everyday for the past two years schools throughout Illinois have been fortunate to use these do just that.

"Since its inception, 21st Century Grants have driven academic performance among student populations, who because of these programs have been given the extra support that they need to start on a pathway to becoming a lifelong learners."

Awardees received notification last week of this year's grants from the approximately $16.8 million made available for FY05. This year's round of grants were awarded to 45 out of 59 applicants and will provide programming for 130 schools in 35 districts across Illinois. The five-year renewable grants will be fully funded for the first three years, but will gradually be decreased in the last two years, first being cut by 10 percent and then 25 percent.

"We have seen the positive benefits that these types of grants and programs have on students across the state," Schiller said. "After school programs provide the added tutoring and support that students need to succeed during regular school hours."

The grants can also be used for youth development activities, drug and violence prevention programs, technology education programs, art, music, recreation programs, counseling and character education to enhance student learning.

Public schools, public university laboratory schools, charter schools, area vocational centers, community-based organizations, including faith-based organizations and public or private entities are eligible to apply for the competitive grants. Regional Offices of Education or Intermediate Service Centers also may apply for funding to coordinate and carry out activities for agencies.

For a listing of all recipients (except Chicago) please go to: http://www.isbe.net/21cclc/pdf/21st_century_recipients.pdf

For a listing of Chicago organizations that will serve CPS, please go to:
http://www.isbe.net/21cclc/pdf/21st_century_cps_recipients.pdf

Illinois State Board of Education
100 North First Street
Springfield, IL 62777