Cargill, General Mills, Medtronic, Target detail $13 million to Minneapolis schools

Minneapolis Public Schools let the cat out of the bag last week about a major donation from Cargill, General Mills, Medtronic, Target, but the size of the donation and its purposes were a bit vague. Today, MPS fleshed out some of the details.

A $13 million package will be phased in over three years, aimed at promoting literacy; science, technology, engineering and math (STEM); the Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID) program that helps low-income students and students of color prepare for college; and attracting better teachers and staff.

The two biggest donations:

Target: More than $6 million over the next three years earmarked for reading initiatives, continued funding of Minneapolis school library makeovers, expansion of the Minnesota Reading Corps into every MPS elementary school during the 2011-12 school year.

Cargill: New grants totaling almost $5 million over the next three years to coordinate and expand STEM, enhance college-preparedness programs and help the district recruit, develop and retain top talent in the classroom and administration.

We mentioned before that the donations represent just a fraction of the district's budget. But coming after a year of turmoil on the school board, declining enrollment, school closures, and reorganization, the vote of confidence from some of Minnesota's corporate giants was welcomed with open arms at district HQ. Whether it makes any difference in the long run is an open question.

Related: MPS details on donations.

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