White House

D.C. Mayor Announces New Program to Help Minority Boys

A $20 million initiative to help black and Latino students succeed in the District's public schools includes a plan for an all-male college preparatory high school.

District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser and D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson launched the program, called Empowering Males of Color, Wednesday. They say the program will be part of a White House initiative called My Brother's Keeper. The federal program was announced last year. It calls on cities and local governments to do more to help young men of color succeed in school and the workforce.

District officials say black and Latino boys and young men make up 43 percent of enrollment in the city's public schools. Despite improvement on standardized tests, the city has struggled with one of the nation's highest achievement gaps between whites and minority students.

“We serve more Black and Latino boys than any other group of students, and overall, they are lagging behind their classmates – this is the greatest need we see,” Henderson said.

The $20 million initiative will fund an all-male college preparatory high school, a mentoring program and grant funding for area schools.

The schools system plans to open the new high school in 2016.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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