Category Archives: Baldwin

Deal Announces AP STEM Grant Awards

Gov. Nathan Deal today announced five grant awards for the Georgia Rural AP STEM Initiative to support the implementation of AP programs in Computer Science and Statistics. This initiative is the result of a partnership between the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement and the College Board and is designed to create a vertical pathway to student success in AP STEM courses in high-need, rural areas throughout Georgia.

“Georgia is home to many global technology leaders, and between now and 2020, STEM field occupations will bring an estimated 79,000 new jobs to our state,” said Deal. “These grants help us motivate and prepare our students for success in the modern workforce and help Georgia maintain its position as a leader in technology. With initiatives like this one, we are working toward providing every Georgia student with an innovative and enriching educational experience.”

Each grant winner will receive up to $30,000 to aid in the successful implementation, creation and strengthening of rigorous STEM courses in middle and high schools in collaboration with the College Board. Grant funds can also be utilized to encourage students to participate in these courses and to promote ongoing, professional learning for Pre-AP and AP teachers.

Funding from this initiative will provide awarded districts with teacher professional learning and mentorship in one of three following AP STEM courses: AP Computer Science, AP Computer Science Principles or AP Statistics.

The grant award winners, along with their selected AP STEM pathways, are listed below.

Appling County:  Computer Science

Baldwin County:  Computer Science

Colquitt County:  Computer Science

McDuffie County:  Statistics

Thomas County:  Computer Science and Statistics

Deal Announces Innovation Fund Grant Award Winners

Gov. Nathan Deal today announced 18 grant award winners for the Innovation Fund, a competitive grant program that provides funding to local education authorities and schools to further advance student achievement in Georgia.

“The Innovation Fund Grant is an opportunity to fuel the innovative ideas of Georgia’s education leaders and students throughout the state,” said Deal. “I am confident this funding will give schools and education groups a greater opportunity to develop methods to ensure that every Georgia student is given the tools necessary for academic achievement.”

The programs are aligned with the following priority areas: applied learning with a focus on science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) education; development and replication of blended learning school models; birth to age eight language and literacy development; and teacher and leader development for high-need schools.

Grantees will evaluate the effectiveness of their programs and submit their findings to the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement. The state will use these findings to determine best practices in each of the priority areas.

The grant award winners and their respective programs are listed below:

Planning Grants

Planning grants will provide each winner between $5,000 to $10,000 over one year to research and develop an innovative education program aligned with one of the Innovation Fund priority areas.

Baldwin County School District
Read Baldwin County

Clarke County School District
Coaching for Innovation in P-3 Language & Literacy

Charles R. Drew Charter School
21CLM: Promoting School Innovation and Success throughout Georgia

Elm Street Elementary
STEAM in 3D- Dream, Design, DO!

Greenwood Learning Center/Rome Transitional Academy
Building STEAM

Houston County Schools
Read to Lead

Liberty Tech
Every Student, Every Day: Applied Service Learning

North Heights Elementary
Growing Up Green

Screven County Elementary School
School and Family Ties

Tattnall County Board of Education
Lead-Read-Succeed: Developing Teachers and Leaders to Achieve Student Literacy Mastery

Telfair County Schools
Tiny Trojans Early Literacy Program

West End Elementary
SusTEAMability: Sustaining Pollinators

 Implementation Grants

Implementation grants will provide each winner between $600,000 and $700,000 over two years to pilot an innovative education program aligned with one of the Innovation Fund priority areas.

 Cobb County School District
KickStART Cobb: Using the Power of Arts Integration to Fuel Early Language and Literacy Development

Whitfield County Schools
Beyond the Classroom 

Scaling Grants

Scaling grants will provide each winner between $250,000 and $700,000 over two years to scale a successful existing program to serve more students, teachers or leaders.

Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School
CREATE (Collaboration and Reflection to Enhance Atlanta Teacher Effectiveness)

Carroll County School System
Full STEAM Ahead

Gwinnett County Public Schools
Gear-Up for Graduation!

Thomas County School System
Scaling of Blended Learning to Thomas County Central High School

Descriptions of the winning proposals are here.  (PDF)

About the Innovation Fund

The Innovation Fund invests in public education entities that aggressively develop and scale programs that enable Georgia educators to improve student performance and tackle our state’s most significant education challenges.  In 2011, The Innovation Fund began as a $19.4 million competitive grant competition created under Georgia’s Race to the Top (RT3) Plan. To continue the Innovation Fund’s work beyond RT3, Governor Deal appropriated state funding for Fiscal Years (FY) 2015, 2016, and 2017. Since its inception, the Innovation Fund has invested $32 million of state and federal funding through 84 grants to 55 school districts, charter schools, postsecondary institutions and nonprofit organizations to pilot innovative education programs, ranging in focus from teacher and leader induction and development to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) applied learning, blended learning, and birth to age eight language and literacy development.  More information about the Innovation Fund can be found on the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement website.

Deal: Sparta Industries to Create More Than 1,000 Jobs in Milledgeville

Gov. Nathan Deal today announced that Sparta Industries, a manufacturer of HVAC duct liner insulation, will establish a new plant at the former Rheem Manufacturing building in Milledgeville. This venture is projected to create more than 1,000 jobs and represents a capital investment of $22.5 million throughout the next 5 years.

“Georgia’s pro-business climate, highly-skilled workforce and manufacturing infrastructure continue to attract innovative manufacturers like Sparta Industries,” said Deal. “This Milledgeville facility will bolster the company’s growth and further demonstrate why Georgia is a top destination for job creators. We welcome Sparta Industries to Georgia and feel that our economic environment will be of major benefit to the company.”

Using a zero emission process, Sparta Industries manufactures foam insulation for use in the commercial building industry. Sparta Industries will hire plant and warehouse operation, supervision and maintenance personnel at the new facility. The company will also be hiring for sales and administrative positions.

“We look forward to working closely with the community,” said Sparta Industries chief financial officer Jeremy Meighan. “Together we can make a well-deserved economic impact on Milledgeville and the surrounding areas.”

Sparta Industries founder and board chairman Walter Sommerman has overseen the construction of 32 plants, 24 of which are located in the U.S. Each of the 32 plants has been profitable since inception.

“Sparta will use an exciting new technology to produce insulation in Milledgeville,” said Dr. Kenneth Hall, vice president of research and development for Sparta Industries. “The product will be more efficient and less costly while eliminating health and environmental issues.”

Rheem Manufacturing previously occupied the facility but closed for business in 2007 during the economic downturn. The building remained vacant until Sparta Industries agreed to purchase the property.

“We’ve been waiting a long time to get someone back to work in this building,” said Development Authority of the City of Milledgeville and Baldwin County Chairman Chat Daniel. “We are optimistic about a great future and partnership with Sparta Industries. This community is ready to assist them as they get up and running.”

Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) project manager Wylly Harrison represented the Global Commerce division in partnership with the Development Authority of the City of Milledgeville and Baldwin County, Georgia Power, the Georgia Department of Labor, Georgia Quick Start and GC Financial Solutions, LLC.

 “This has been an amazing opportunity to work with a group of brilliant people to bring both jobs and opportunity for a well-deserved area,” said Tony and Crystal Gandy of GC Financial Solutions, LLC.

“This is a great win for Milledgeville and Georgia as a whole,” said GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr. “Sparta Industries is the kind of forward-looking and innovative company that Georgia’s business-friendly environment is suited to support. We want to thank our partners at the local level for their diligence throughout this project, and we look forward to Sparta Industries’ continued success as operations ramp up.”