Printer Friendly Format Email a Friend

PR- 254-08
June 30, 2008


Largest-Ever Single Corporate Contribution to New York City Public Schools GE Foundation Awards Additional $11 Million in Related Education Grants to City Organizations

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and GE Chairman and CEO Jeffrey R. Immelt today announced that the GE Foundation, the philanthropic organization of General Electric Company, has awarded the New York City Department of Education (DOE) a five-year grant of $17.9 million, the largest-ever single corporate contribution to New York City public school system. The grant will support initiatives to better prepare middle school students for college and career opportunities, with a particular focus on improving achievement in math and science. Funding will underwrite a pilot program in approximately 10 northern Manhattan schools, where school leadership teams will select from a menu of school improvement strategies. The grant is part of the GE Foundation Developing Futures in Education program, a $130 million commitment to ensure that U.S. students are equipped to compete in an increasingly global economy. The Mayor and Mr. Immelt were joined by Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY) and Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein in St. Nicholas Park Plaza in Harlem.

"Public-private partnerships like this one with the GE Foundation have been essential to our success in turning around a failing public school system," said Mayor Bloomberg.  "This generous grant will help to prepare our students to be the leaders of the 21st century economy which will be built on science, math and technology. Working through special programs like this, the GE Foundation is helping our students acquire critically important skills and helping to create the next generation of potential GE job applicants."

"At GE we recognize that our future and America's ability to compete globally are fully dependent upon today's students, which is why the greatest focus of our charitable giving continues to be secondary math and science education," said Mr. Immelt. "Our goal is to equip New York City's students with the skills they need to become tomorrow's leading engineers and breakthrough scientists."

The DOE will use the GE Foundation grant to develop a pilot program in select northern Manhattan schools serving middle school students. The details of the pilot program are being finalized and will likely encompass a range of school improvement strategies including curricular and instructional innovations; school structure or schedule reconfigurations; teacher and leadership development; academic, social, and youth development services; and family and community engagement - all with the goal of achieving the highest standards for student achievement.

The GE Foundation grant comes at a time when City educators are stepping up efforts to improve student outcomes in the middle grades, which are considered the most challenging area in education today both in New York City and the nation. The skills required for academic achievement change dramatically between elementary and middle school, when students transition from mastering basic concepts to engaging in higher-order critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The grant will help New York City's educators determine how best to create the conditions necessary for student success in the middle grades. As the program is evaluated, DOE plans to expand successful initiatives citywide, possibly as early as 2009.

"Our nation can no longer afford to see math and science scores fall further and further behind our toughest international competition," said Congressman Rangel. "We need a 21st century education system that equips our students with the skills that are needed to compete in today's hi-tech global economy. GE's initiative is the kind of public-private partnership that we need to give our young people the classroom resources they need to succeed at home and abroad."

"This GE Foundation grant will help us address what remains one of our biggest challenges, improving academic performance in middle school," said Chancellor Klein. "We thank the GE Foundation for its dedication to our City's young people and for its sustained leadership in partnering with educators to solve urgent problems that affect the success of our students and our city."

The New York City Department of Education serves 1.1 million students - more than any other district nationwide, allowing the GE Foundation grant to affect the future of hundreds of thousands of young New Yorkers. Today's announcement deepens the GE Foundation's enduring commitment to education in New York City, which began more than 15 years ago.

In addition to the nearly $18 million grant to the Department of Education the GE Foundation is providing in support of this initiative, and is also awarding a total of $11 million in grants to Columbia University Teachers College, the Council for Opportunity in Education, College for Every Student, and the Harlem Children's Zone. By combining these grants with the award to the Department of Education, a framework for solutions will be developed that will benefit students citywide.

New York is the sixth city to participate in the Developing Futures program, formerly the College Bound District Program, since 2005. In addition to the $29 million in grants, the GE Foundation covers costs associated with evaluation and implementation of its programs. Other participating school districts are Atlanta, Ga.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Erie, Pa.; Louisville, Ky.; and Stamford, Conn. which received grants under the College Bound District Program. The GE Foundation Developing Futures program was launched in September 2005 as an expansion of the College Bound School Program, which started in 1989. The expanded program aims to raise math and science achievement in secondary education and at the same time equip a larger percentage of students for college. The model enables systemic change across entire school districts. For more information on the Developing Futures program, go to

About the GE Foundation

The GE Foundation, the philanthropic organization of the General Electric Company, works to strengthen educational access, equity, and quality for disadvantaged youth globally, and supports GE employee and retiree giving and involvement in GE communities around the world. In 2007, the GE family of businesses, employees, retirees and GE Foundation contributed more than $210 million to community and educational programs, including $93 million from the GE Foundation. For more information, visit

About GE

GE is Imagination at Work - a diversified technology, media and financial services company focused on solving some of the world's toughest problems. With products and services ranging from aircraft engines, power generation, water processing and security technology to medical imaging, business and consumer financing, media content and advanced materials, GE serves customers in more than 100 countries and employs more than 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit



Stu Loeser / Dawn Walker   (212) 788-2958

David Cantor   (DOE)
(212) 374-5141

Frank Mantero (GE)   (203) 373-3534

Elbert Garcia (Rangel)   (212) 663-3900

More Resources