Kentucky schools to get $1 million from Gates Foundation

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will give the Kentucky Department of Education $1 million over two years to help support the introduction of tough new common core content standards for math and English in the state's public schools.

The new standards are a key in implementation of Senate Bill 1, the wide-ranging Kentucky educational reform package that will go into effect with the start of the 2011-12 school year.

Certain "pilot school districts," including the Fayette County Public Schools, are already working to help teachers get ready for the new math and English standards.

Fayette, Boyle, Jessamine, Rockcastle, Daviess and Kenton counties are working on the English standards. Kenton, Boone, Daviess, Jefferson, Jessamine and Warren counties are working on the math standards.

Fayette County's part of the effort involves teachers coming together to review the new English standards, developing lesson plans, units of study, and ideas and activities that could be used in the classroom when teaching the new standards, according to district spokeswoman Lisa Deffendall.

Meanwhile, state education officials are hoping to land more grants from private foundations to help support the implementation of Senate Bill 1.