MEMPHIS, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- Memphis school board president Martavius Jones said the board accepted a $90 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal said school board officials Wednesday lauded the impact the grant and its $1.9 million in companion funds will have on the city's public school system.
"This is not just for Memphis City Schools, this is for everyone in the city of Memphis," Jones said after the board voted unanimously to accept the funds.
"This is huge, this is huge, this puts Memphis City Schools in very elite territory, on the front page of the nation," school board superintendent Kriner Cash offered.
The funds will be used on a seven-year project intended to improve teaching at Memphis public schools, a concept applauded by Gates Foundation senior program officer Colleen Oliver.
"We've watched the entire community come together around what we consider the most important challenge we face today," Oliver said. "All the youth of every city, but particularly in the Memphis community, have a right to an effective teacher."
The Commercial Appeal said the plan would include inner-city schools receiving the city's most talented teachers to help improve teaching efforts.