KNOXVILLE, TN (Dec. 6, 2019) – During the Knox County School Board Workshop on Dec. 4, 2019, Project GRAD Knoxville announced that it exceeded every Year One metric established under its 5-Year Memorandum of Agreement with Knox County Schools.
Graduation rates went up at Austin-East and Fulton last school year. More of our graduates have gone on to pursue post-secondary education and more students qualified for Project GRAD scholarships.
This was Project GRAD’s first progress report to the school board since the MOA went into place in May 2018.
The MOA established three benchmarks for Project GRAD to meet and report on each year. The metrics focus on boosting graduation rates, increasing post-secondary enrollment rates and elevating the number of seniors eligible for Project GRAD scholarships.
Application of the KCS FY19 $500,000 is restricted by the MOA to high school costs only. That designated funding restriction was honored in GRAD FY19 operating budget expenditures. The one-time $365,000 Knox County Government funding for FY19 was applied toward operating costs for the additional uncovered high school expenses, K8 support, and postsecondary support. The remaining $735,000 from the private sector covered unmet operating costs including administration.
The total GRAD operating budget for FY19 was $1.6M. Beyond the Operating Budget, there was also an additional $550,000 cash and in-kind supports provided by sponsors and partners for the GRAD scholarship, UT/PSCC/TCAT GRAD summer institutes, GRAD Hands on the Future paid summer internships, WATE/GRAD telethon laptops, and grant activities.
The return on investment for the District’s $500,000 was an additional $1.6M of resources and opportunities for students who reside in the city’s five highest-need zip codes, representing a total investment worth more than $2.1M.
The following are specifics on each metric from GRAD’s report to the school board.
Metric 1: Assist Knox County Schools (KCS) in increasing the graduation rate at each school by 1.5% each year
• KCS MOA Baseline 76.51% at Austin-East and 72.28% at Fulton
(Final for 2017 School Year)
• 1.5% Metric Goal 77.66% at Austin-East and 73.36% at Fulton
• SY 2018 Result 81.07% at Austin-East and 85.65% at Fulton
(All Graduation Rates provided by Knox County Schools REA)
Metric 2: Work with KCS to increase the post-secondary enrollment rate of graduates of each school by 2.7% each year (National Clearinghouse and other accredited)
• KCS MOA Baseline* 39% at Austin-East and 48% at Fulton
(Final for 2017 School Year)
• 2.7% Metric Goal 40.1% at Austin East and 49.3% at Fulton
• Class of 2018 – SY18 Result*** At least 50.8% at Austin East and 51.9% at Fulton*
*Baseline data only includes data from the National Student Clearinghouse, while the SY17 data includes Clearinghouse data + additional accredited institutions identified by Project GRAD
**Neither Project GRAD nor KCS can account for A-E/Fulton graduates who enroll in accredited non-Clearinghouse institutions who are not GRAD scholarship recipients
***GRAD Scholars have one year to enroll in higher education after high school graduation
Metric 3: Increase the proportion of senior cohort members that are Project GRAD Scholarship recipients by 4.5% each year
• KCS MOA Baseline 34.64%
(Austin-East and Fulton Senior Cohorts 2018, qualifying for $4,000 GRAD Scholarship)
• 4.5% Metric Goal 36.16%
• SY19 Result 38.6 %
To view the full presentation and questions that followed, click here.
You can follow, and donate your time, talent or monetary contributions at; projectgradknoxville.org.
A note of appreciation from ProjectGRAD-Knoxville Executive Director:
Because success is cumulative, GRAD acknowledges the collaborative work of many colleagues and partners in recognizing these results.
Thank you to all who contributed towards the upcoming 2019-2020 fiscal year by giving in the GRAD2020 year-end effort. About a quarter of the 1,000-plus grassroots supporters who were engaged last April made a financial commitment in the November/December window. While a few 2020 pledges are pending, gifts to date total just over $30,000. We are also so grateful that the Project GRAD Board and 100% of the GRAD staff personally contributed.
Your gifts make possible hope and opportunities for 7,000 talented young people who attend the 14 center city Knox County Schools supported by Project GRAD.
Vrondelia “Ronni” Chandler