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Education Philanthropy Expands to Buffalo, N.Y.

Say Yes to Education, which has been working on Syracuse, N.Y. since 2008 to create a comprehensive turnaround of the 19,000-student city school system, announced this week that it was expanding into Buffalo schools.

The organization has committed $15 million to partner with local providers to deliver supports to the 37,000-student Buffalo district, including free after-school and summer programming, counseling, legal services, and health care. The foundation will also provide students who graduate from a Buffalo charter or traditional school with up to 100 percent of the tuition needed to attend one of the colleges in the State University of New York system. Tuition will be provided on a sliding scale, based on the student's financial need and the length of time her or she has been enrolled in Buffalo schools.

The Buffalo News has additional information on the partnership.

The foundation also announced this week that it will get $4.2 million over the next three years from the Wallace Foundation of New York to bolster its work in Syracuse and to create a toolkit to share the lessons the organization learned from its citywide turnaround strategy. The Wallace Foundation also supports coverage of leadership, expanded learning time, and arts learning in Education Week.

In November, I hosted a webinar with Mary Anne Schmitt-Carey, the president of the Say Yes foundation, and Sharon L. Contreras, the superintendent of Syracuse schools, where they talked about their partnership. The archived webinar, available free with registration, delves into more detail of the foundation's work and how it hopes to achieve results in districts that have struggled with low achievement.

Want to keep up with school district news? Follow @district_doss on Twitter.

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