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Press Release

Thursday, November 19, 2009

DOE Press Office
Phone: (850) 245-0413

Statement By: Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith Regarding the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Grant Award to Hillsborough School District

“Hillsborough School District earned an extraordinary honor today by being chosen from more than 16,000 school districts across the nation for a staggering $100 million grant to boost academic achievement through bold improvements to teacher effectiveness. This incredible grant will enable one of Florida’s largest and most progressive school districts to enact innovative reforms that have the ability to strengthen and reenergize the teaching profession. By capitalizing on the positive relationships it has built with local education stakeholders and its forward-thinking approaches to education, the district has truly proven itself to be deserving of such an award.

“My most sincere congratulations go out to Hillsborough School District for this tremendous achievement and to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, whose philanthropic efforts have raised international awareness that every student deserves an opportunity to succeed. I’m eager to see the outcomes of Hillsborough’s groundbreaking work and the impacts their reforms will have on the future of education in our nation.”