Project LIFT Gets Funding For A Seventh Year

May 29, 2018

Project LIFT, a public-private partnership aimed at improving Charlotte schools, has received extra money to continue its work with West Charlotte High School and the schools that feed into it for a seventh year.

Project LIFT had some big goals when it was initially conceived. A group of philanthropists and community members gave $55 million to significantly raise test scores and graduation rates at some CMS schools within five years. 

West Charlotte now has a graduation rate close to that goal, 88 percent, but test scores there and at the nine schools that feed into it have seen only slight improvements. Last year, the Project LIFT board decided to extend funding for another year. The board has raised $6.5 million for the 2018-19 school year. 

“Though [the effort] was more complicated than we ever could have imagined, our support was — and continues to be — unwavering,” Project Lift co-chair Stick Williams said in a statement. 

Some of the money will go toward replicating programs that have worked in the 10 Project LIFT schools and extending them to some of the 19 other schools that will make up the new Project LIFT zone next year. That includes creating new positions that help coach teachers.

Project LIFT leaders refer to next year as a transitional one as they get ready to operate with fewer private dollars.