Tulsa Schools were awarded a total $4.4 million dollars this week to help fund and train new principals.
Tulsa Public Schools was chosen by the U.S. Department of Education to receive the money under the School Leadership Program. Twenty other organizations were selected to receive the $13.3 million in first-year grants.
According to the release, the program supports the development and expansion of innovative programs to help bring and mentor new principals and assistant principals. Institutes of higher education and non-profit organizations are also included in the program.
"There are no great schools without great principals and teachers," U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said. "High-quality examples of leadership can help shape a school's culture and create an environment where students are excited to learn. These grants aim to support the development of these leaders, ultimately improving the effectiveness of educators and the academic achievement of students."
In all, TPS will receive $990,874 this school year, with $861,026 for each subsequent year of the five-year grant provided the district meets annual eligibility requirements. This brings the district to a total $4,434,982, according to the release.
"This is terrific news for Tulsa Public Schools, as it is significant confirmation that our Teacher and Leader Effectiveness efforts are on the right track," said Dr. Keith Ballard, Superintendent. "This federal grant will enable us to strengthen the instructional knowledge and leadership skills of the district's 53 assistant principals so they are equipped to become successful principals within two years. Ultimately, it will help to improve the guidance our principals provide to teachers in the classroom, which we believe will translate into improved student achievement. Our thanks to the U.S. Department of Education, as well as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and our many other supportive donors and partners who helped make this journey possible, including the Foundation for Tulsa Schools and the civic donor community funding our Teacher and Leadership Effectiveness initiatives."
At TPS, the grant will provide training and development to all school leaders, but it will also help redefine the position of assistant principal as a training ground for future principals focused on instructional leadership. With this grant, the district will:
- Deliver proven induction and professional development training to first and second year assistant principals so they are prepared to become principals within two years.
- Support school leaders' ability to analyze and effectively use school and student data.
- Expand and improve the district's pool of assistant principals by offering incentives to attract and recruit highly effective leaders from schools outside of TPS with a track-record of successful school turnarounds.
For more information about Tulsa Public Schools, visit www.tulsaschools.org.