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July 5, 2020 No. 00-43 CONTACT: Lisa Y. Gross (502)564-3421


(FRANKFORT, Ky.) -- A three-year, $1.1 million federal grant will help Kentucky high schools expand their Advanced Placement (AP) course offerings, the Department of Education announced today.

The grant is designed to increase access to AP courses for high-poverty and minority students. Funds will be used primarily to expand offerings and services through the Kentucky Virtual High School (KVHS), which will offer nine AP courses this fall.

Part of the grant monies will be used to pay for AP course tuition at KVHS for 100 students per year for the three-year funding cycle. AP examination fees also will be paid for eligible students.

"This grant will benefit many Kentucky high school students," said Renee Murray, Special Projects Branch manager for the department. "We know that some high schools can't offer enough AP courses to meet the requirements for the Commonwealth Diploma. This funding will provide professional development for teachers, give students greater access to those upper-level courses and help prepare them for success in the AP program."

The Advanced Placement Program is designed to provide high school students with advanced placement in college courses, as if they had taken that course in college. Advanced Placement courses and examinations are administered by the College Board.

In 1987, the Kentucky Board of Education established the Commonwealth Diploma Program, encouraging Kentucky's high school students to take demanding and rigorous courses that would prepare them for college. High school students who successfully complete the required course work and examinations receive Commonwealth Diplomas at their high school graduation.

Page 2 -- AP Incentive

The criteria for the Commonwealth Diploma includes:

  • completion of the state's minimum graduation requirements and/or local graduation requirements
  • completion of the state's pre-college preparatory curriculum
  • a grade of "C" or better in four Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses in the specific subject areas of English, foreign language, an elective and mathematics or science
  • completion of Advanced Placement examinations or International Baccalaureate examinations in three of the four subject areas specified above, without regard to score

The federal grant also will fund middle school foreign language teacher academies, a parent program, professional development and statewide and regional meetings.

During the first year of the program, eight high schools will receive funds to help teachers deliver AP courses and strengthen the curriculum and instruction leading to the AP courses. to their students. Those eight schools will then serve as mentors to eight schools in the second year and 16 in the third year of the program.


Kentucky Department of Education

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