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HILLSBOROUGH SCHOOLS TO GET CHOICE FUNDS

Hillsborough schools received good news Friday: The federal government is awarding them a $2.1-million grant that could grow to $14-million over five years.

In a year, parents can expect to see new programs at more than two-dozen high-poverty schools. These include several high-profile experiments, such as the debut of single-gender classes at James Elementary. It will bring a hands-on, experiential curriculum known as the Bank Street Model to Temple Terrace Elementary.

The effort will mostly concentrate on creating targeted academic programs in 16 middle schools and eight high schools. Middle school themes called "RAP" (Rigorous Academic Program) and Tomorrow's Leaders (a math, science, technology and leadership curriculum) will seek to attract students from other backgrounds to the largely minority campuses.

Hillsborough will emphasize a college prep focus at the high schools, especially promoting advanced placement classes.

This is the second time the federal government has picked Hillsborough for the grant. Since 2002, the district has received about $11-million to promote school choice.

Letitia Stein can be reached at lstein @sptimes.com or (813) 226-3400.

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