The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will spend $40 million to create 70 schools dedicated to help students earn a high school diploma and college credit.
The program, which is also being backed by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, will create "early college high schools," where students can get an associate's degree or two years of college credit. The goal is to reach students who are dropping out of standard schools before graduation. "These new small schools will help bridge the gap between high school and college, where we lose too many students," Tom Vander Ark, executive director of education for the Gates Foundation, said in a release.