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$350M for education – Gates Foundation boosts school technology

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Public schools’ use of technology will get a big boost thanks to $350 million that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will contribute over the next three years, The New York Times reports.

Most of the money is expected to help train teachers to build technology into the classroom and to foster innovation in learning at individual schools and school districts.

Initially, the funding will go to the state of Washington and later will support efforts throughout the U.S., the Times reports.

The grants initially will go to about 140 schools and at least 10 school districts in the state, which spends about $6 billion a year on education.

The foundation’s assets have ballooned in recent years to $21 billion because of gifts from Microsoft’s chief and his wife. It now is the biggest foundation the world.

Of the new gift, about $100 million would support “leadership development focusing on improving student learning through technology.”

Another $70 million would support teacher training, with about $45 million going to about 1,000 teachers in Washington state in each of the next three years.

Another $30 million would be available for schools, and $150 more woud go to 30 school districts, beginning with 10 in Washington.

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