Minneapolis-based education nonprofit Minnesota Comeback Friday announced grant recipients adding to $1.4 million for initiatives to boost K-12 education.

Minnesota Comeback is a group of foundations and business leaders that aims to close the achievement gap. It is tackling that with a variety of goals in this grant funding, including helping people access high-performing schools, encouraging parent connection and leadership in education and aiming for teacher retention and diversity. 

“This ambitious goal of our coalition’s — ensuring all students access rigorous and relevant schools — is a non-negotiable for our community’s future," said Al Fan, executive director of Minnesota Comeback, in a release. "It’s also incredibly doable.” 

Grants awarded include the following:

  • $170,000 for LoveWorks Academy for the Arts, from Minnesota Comeback partner organization Great MN Schools. The North Minneapolis charter is going through a parent-driven school turnaround. The funding would help put in a new instructional model, which includes tutoring, a focus on performing arts and personalized learning, the release said.
  • $50,000 for Bancroft Elementary in Minneapolis, also from Great MN Schools. The school is a Community Partnership School, which is supported with teamwork between the Minneapolis Public Schools district and the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers teachers' union. That means schools can decide budget, scheduling, curriculum and hiring new teachers. With the funding, the school's work will include an early literacy phonics program, a math curriculum and parent connection through a site council.
  • $94,000 to NewPublica, a communications organization that created Challenge the Ed Code —a group launched by parents of color for those parents "to close the information gap," enable discussions and share their education experiences, according to the release.
  • $90,000 to Minnesota's Students for Education Reform, an education advocacy organization "with a successful track record of fighting to close the opportunity gap," according to the release. With backing from Minnesota Comeback, "two organizers are developing the leadership skills of parents – organized around neighborhood-based chapters – to develop grassroots campaigns surrounding K-12 education," the release said.l
  • $500,000 to talent development grants. The group is seeking proposals to boost teachers, including diverse hiring and classroom support. The team is looking for proposals that target Minnesota's educator needs. The deadline is Dec. 23, and more information is here.