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Private Dollars for Longer School Days

Schools in North Carolina may be lengthening their calendar in an effort to improve high school graduation rates, but footing the bill with at least $55 million in donated dollars, according to an article in The Charlotte Observer.

According to the article, the North Carolina legislature authorized nine schools in the Charlotte area to lengthen their school days, but didn't authorize any additional funding to pay for the extra costs accrued with more time in school.

In response, a coalition of foundations, local businesses, and other donors has pooled resources—amounting to $55 million—that they want to use to lengthen the calendar at the local high school and the eight schools that feed into it in an initiative called Project LIFT: Leadership and Investment For Transformation.

But first, the school board has to approve the plan for added days at a meeting in December. The project goal, according to the story, is to use the money for added time that will boost student performance, and its backers hope, will raise the graduation rate at the high school to 90 percent by 2017.

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