Laboratory Middle School receives grant

The Grambling State University Laboratory Middle School has received a one-year, $500,000 school improvement grant from the Louisiana Department of Education.

The grant was awarded to Lincoln Parish on behalf of the school at a Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education meeting Oct. 13 in Baton Rouge.

 Since 2010, the Louisiana Department of Education has provided local education agencies with the opportunity to apply for school improvement grants through the Believe and Succeed program.

 The money will be used to fill a number of faculty and staff positions at the middle school for the past two years because of budget constraints.

“The biggest part of the operating cost of the laboratory schools is salaries,” said Gordan Ford, executive director of Grambling Laboratory Schools. “We are adding an assistant principal in the middle school, as well as three or four teachers. Because we didn’t have the operating funds, we have had to cut some positions over the years.”

“This grant will allow us to add a building supervisor in addition to putting more teachers in the classroom, which will help our students have better outcomes in the classroom with smaller class sizes,” Ford said.

The Grambling High Foundation entered into an operating agreement with GSU to fund and operate the laboratory schools for the 2015-2016 school year, with plans to open as Grambling Laboratory Charter School in August 2016. The Foundation needed to raise $762,000 to operate the schools for the year.

The Foundation has now raised over $100,000 in private donations and will add over $200,000 from the 111 students who have enrolled as students at Grambling Laboratory Virtual School.

“With this $500,000 grant, we will have raised $800,000 and counting for this year. We still plan to raise over a million dollars to do some of the additional upgrades and use that to help us transition into the charter school,” Ford said.

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