Alexandria, VA (PRWEB) May 8, 2008
Dr. Appu Kuttan, Chairman of the National Education Foundation (NEF), CyberLearning, the nonprofit leader in bridging the digital and academic divides, announced today a nationwide $40 million matching grant initiative for schools.
With most states awash in red ink and with at least nine states proposing to cut K-12 education funds, NEF is working to leverage a $400 million dollar U.S. Treasury program that permits the states to allow school districts to borrow money at zero interest to support the critical needs of disadvantaged schools --- the most vulnerable group in the current fiscal crisis.
This Federal program is known as Qualified Zone Academy Bonds (QZAB). NEF has teamed up with banks to make it possible for all eligible schools -- those with 35% of students on free or reduced lunch -- to receive QZAB funds for renovation, equipment, curriculum, professional development etc. NEF also donates the 10% match required, and helps to build a world class CyberLearning Academy that enables students acquire key 21st Century workforce skills.
NEF CyberLearning's 3,000 high quality K-12 online courses are particularly focused on the critical STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) skills to help address a mounting education crisis. NEF's QZAB CyberLearning Academies also provide teacher training, technical support, 24/7 live mentors, teacher stipends, student rewards (iPods) and parent recognition, thus offering a complete solution with proven increases in student scores.
NEF President Dr. Appu Kuttan argues, "Our students desperately need help to compete with their counterparts in India, China, Europe, etc. for the 21st Century jobs. We are already 25th out of 40 countries in math skills of 15-year olds! For us to maintain our technology and economic leadership, we must help our disadvantaged students now! Our vision embraces the good intentions of the President but with a practical real world strategy to educate better our disadvantaged students."
"NEF gave us 10% match, helped us to receive $8 million in QZAB funds at zero interest and set up a QZAB Academy that has increased student math and technology scores by 25-50% every semester," so states Camella Mouton of the St. Landry School District in Louisiana.
QZAB matching grants are provided on a first-come, first-served basis. To apply for the grant, just visit http://www.qzab.org and click on your state.