TCOE grant opens ‘Gates’ for minority, low-income students

Office of Education gets $500,000 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop strategies to improve student outcomes for black, Latino and low-income students


TULARE COUNTY – The Tulare County Office of Education will play a key role in helping develop strategies to improve student outcomes for black, Latino and low-income students.

Last week, the Tulare County Office of Education (TCOE) learned it will receive a $500,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. TCOE was the only K-12 agency in California among the current cohort of Model Design & Initiation (MDI) grantees. The MDI grant is the second grant awarded to TCOE by the foundation. The first came in 2015 to fund the original Central Valley Networked Improvement Community (CVNIC), a network of eight school districts who brought together a core group of teachers from each district to strategize on how to improve 5th grade math scores.

As an MDI grantee, TCOE will work to increase its knowledge and skills in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion; measurement and evaluation; and to scale its continuous improvement expertise more broadly across the organization. As a culminating grant activity, TCOE intends to codify its learning through the development of a Network for School Improvement (NSI) in order to facilitate countywide implementation. The future countywide NSI will be used to increase the academic outcomes for black, Latino, and low-income secondary students in Tulare and Kings counties.

For more information on the MDI grant, contact Charlene Stringham at [email protected].

Since August 2018, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has made a series of grants to organizations working with middle and high schools across the country to use continuous improvement methods to advance high school graduation and college success rates for Black, Latino, and low-income students. Known as Networks for School Improvement, or NSIs, these grantees support groups of middle and high schools that work together to identify and solve common problems using approaches that best fit their needs, learning what works and refining their approaches as they go. In the spring of 2019, the foundation introduced the concept of Model Design and Initiation grants to support organizations seeking to build their capacity to lead an NSI. These investments are intended to help organizations clarify and refine their model for running an NSI and secure technical assistance for aspects of their model where they feel, as an organization, they could use additional support and development.

For additional information on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, visit

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