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North Carolina and a private donor gave Buncombe County schools $1 million to pay for enriched science education for fifth-graders, officials said this week. The state’s newly created Education and Workforce Innovation Fund gave $800,000. Lawmakers set up the fund last year. An unidentified donor gave $200,000 as a match. The school district was among 11 getting grants from the fund, ranging from $350,000 to $800,000 for five-year programs. The governor’s office said Buncombe’s money would go toward providing “enriched science curriculum for all fifth-grade students and will support the educator professional development and community engagement strategies necessary to building a true STEM culture in Buncombe Schools.”

Gov. Pat McCrory said the grants will mean students who are better prepared for college and jobs. Members of the Education and Workforce Innovation Commission include State Superintendent June Atkinson, UNC system President Tom Ross, NC Community Colleges President Scott Ralls, State Board of Education Chairman Bill Cobey and other business leaders from around the state, the governor’s office said. Billie Redmond, CEO of TradeMark Properties, is the chair of the commission.


Asheville Citizen-Times