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GE Energy Foundation Grant Provides Training For School Leaders

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Atlanta — January 30, 2004

Georgia’s Leadership Institute for School Improvement (GLISI) announced today that the GE Foundation has committed $150,000 to support the Institute’s training for principals, superintendents and teachers.

The grant provides $50,000 per year for three years to support the Institute, a private/public partnership founded in 2001 to increase student learning and achievement in public schools by investing in their leaders. The Institute’s training program is designed to increase the ability of school leaders to drive change in their schools in order to meet rising expectations for student achievement and fulfill the mandates of state and federal educational reform legislation.

GE Energy, formerly GE Power Systems, has committed to helping “move the needle” in student achievement in metro Atlanta. John Rice, president and CEO of GE Energy, is the immediate past chairman of the Education Policy Committee of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. In that role, he launched a regional education initiative that included support of the Georgia Leadership Institute. Rice now serves as the 2004 Chairman of the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s Board of Directors.

“The Institute has established a reputation for delivering first-class leadership training and the program is becoming a national model,” noted Rice. “One goal of the Chamber’s Education Committee was to garner support from foundations to fund the Leadership Institute to accelerate their training in order to reach more school leaders faster.”

Noting that the GE Energy Foundation is one of several corporate foundations providing grant funding to the Institute, Rice stated, “We think it is critical for the business community and the state of Georgia to invest in this important work. School superintendents tell us that GLISI is making a difference and the Institute deserves our support. GE is proud to be among the many corporate foundations making such an important investment.”

The Institute’s training programs utilize a unique blend of proven organizational-improvement methods from business and research-based best practices from education. Over the past two years, the Institute has trained over 2,000 school administrators from over 90 Georgia school districts in leadership of school improvement.

“The work of school and district leaders has changed significantly due to the increased accountability for student achievement,” said Deb Page, executive director of the Institute. “We work with key stakeholders in education to influence changes in policy to change conditions which limit the effectiveness of leaders and remove barriers to attracting and retaining good leaders.”

The Institute has a number of partners, including the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, Georgia Professional Standards Commission, state government officials, K-12 educational leaders and Georgia business leaders.

Phil Jacobs, president of BellSouth, Georgia serves on the governing body of the Institute along with Ben Scafidi, education policy advisor for Gov. Sonny Perdue; Kathy Cox, state school superintendent; Jan Kettlewell, associate vice chancellor for P-16 Initiatives at the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia; F. D. Toth, executive secretary of the Professional Standards Commission; Steve Dolinger, president of the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education; and two veteran school leaders, Dr. Sharon Patterson of Bibb County and Barbara Kendrick of Coweta County.

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