Wallace Foundation grant will bolster equity-centered leadership
October 13, 2021 – Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) has been awarded a grant from the Wallace Foundation worth up to $8.2 million over five years to help develop and support equity-centered school leaders, the district announced today.
JCPS was one of only eight districts nationally awarded funds from the Wallace Foundation’s Equity Centered Pipeline Initiative. The grant will provide professional learning opportunities, mentorship and programming to strengthen the leadership pipeline for school principals with a focus on equity.
“This grant offers us the tremendous opportunity to develop and support principal candidates ‘on the bench’ as well as those new to their positions,” JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio said. “We know that effective principals have a strong, positive influence on students and schools, impacting student achievement across an entire school. Having a comprehensive, aligned principal pipeline will produce leaders who can help bring our district’s vision of equity to fruition.”
JCPS will receive $1.79 million in each of the first two years of the grant. If the grants are successfully renewed in years 3-5, the district would receive a total of $8.2 million.
Funding from the grant will create the Jefferson County Leadership Academy (JCLA), which will offer aspiring administrators workshops and programming to introduce them to the duties and expectations of an assistant principal and principal, along with mentoring and internship opportunities. In addition, JCLA will provide executive coaching sessions for current administrators.
JCPS will also partner with the University of Louisville, Spalding University and the Kentucky Department of Education to provide certification programs, professional development and mentoring based on equity-centered leadership to new and aspiring principals.
“This work will not only benefit our program at the UofL College of Education and Human Development but will also serve as a means to deepen our relationship with Jefferson County Public Schools,” said Dr. Debbie Powers, program director of Educational Administration and Leadership at the University of Louisville. “Together, we have the potential to touch every single leadership team in the district. This equity-focused work will also have a far-reaching impact extending to our partner districts in the Ohio Valley Education Cooperative. We could not be more excited for the work to come.”
“Spalding University and its College of Education are proud to be partners with JCPS in developing equity-centered leaders in our public schools, and we are grateful for the Wallace Foundation for investing in this meaningful work,” Spalding President Tori Murden McClure said. “The grant from the Wallace Foundation will support ongoing work to further embed equity centered leadership within all aspects of Spalding’s JCPS-focused Aspiring Leaders principal preparation program, including its curriculum, assessments and clinical field experiences. This work goes hand in hand with the Spalding mission of compassion and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.”
The Wallace Foundation works nationally to foster equity and improvements in learning and enrichment for young people, and in the arts for everyone.