$16.2 million pledged to help Philly schools, improve career training

An area philanthropist is making a big donation to improve job training and education in Philadelphia.

The $16.2 million investment by the Middleton family goes to the Philadelphia School District and other city organizations. The money will be used for workforce training and professional development programming.

Lisa Nutter, president of the nonprofit Philadelphia Academies, says the goal is to build a 21st century workforce.

“The funding will be used for the expansion of the number of student slots in career and technical education,” said Nutter, wife of Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. “The funding will add 400 student slots in this current school year, that’s the 2013 school year, and an additional 800 slots will be added in 2013-2014”

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The money comes at a time when the School Reform Commission has had to make deep cuts to the district budget.

John Middleton says he’s giving more than $4 million a year for four years because it was time to show support for turning around the city’s schools.

“The mayor and SRC have proven their commitment to resolve the school district’s problems,” said Middleton, one of the owners of the Philadelphia Phillies. “They have demonstrated the integrity, persistence and tenacity to overcome the inevitable problems which will develop.”

The United Way will oversee awarding grants from the money.

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