DC Public Schools to spend $20 million on program for minority boys

WASHINGTON (AP) — Public school leaders in the District of Columbia say they'll spend $20 million on a program intended to help black and Latino boys succeed.

Mayor Muriel Bowser and Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson announced the program on Wednesday.

The money will go toward building a new all-male high school, recruiting mentors for students and grants to individual schools.

The program is meant to address persistent achievement gaps in District schools between white students and their minority peers. Black and Latino young men and boys make up 43 percent of enrollment in city schools.

Henderson says addressing the achievement gap is the school system's "greatest need." Nearly half of black and Latino boys are reading below grade level by fourth grade, something the volunteer mentoring program is meant to address.

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