LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- JCPS has received a $20 million gift from writer and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott that will be used to improve schools in Louisville's west end.
It's the largest gift from a single party in the district's history.
"This is a game changing donation to our community," Dr. Marty Pollio said in a written statement. "We are enormously happy and grateful that JCPS is the latest entity to be on the receiving end of MacKenzie Scott's incredible generosity."
It's not the first time Scott -- the ex-wife of Amazon founder and billionaire Jeff Bezos -- has made contributions to the Bluegrass state. In December 2020 Scott announced that she was giving $10 million to Goodwill of Kentucky.
Pollio said the state's largest school district will use the money to narrow the gap in supplemental funding for JCPS' high poverty schools through an initiative called E3: Engagement, Environment and Experiences -- creating student, family, and community enrichment.
The initiative will help combat the inequity that exists in funding for projects like playgrounds, athletic fields and orchestra rooms at schools in JCPS' new Choice Zone, which is comprised primarily of high poverty schools in west Louisville.
"This will truly make our funding model based completely on equity," Pollio said.
The money will help pay for uniforms, musical instruments, college visits, PTA memberships, or overnight trips for students who can't afford them, and other functions that happen outside the classroom.
"Our goal is to make sure that the 11 elementary schools have the same supplementary funding that Norton Commons, or Stoeffer Elementary, or Hite Elementary have. That is our goal through this work right now. As we build a new middle school it will be the same with that. The middle school will have the same opportunity as any other middle school in JCPS."
The district will soon begin a process of figuring out exactly how to distribute the funds.
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