Los Angeles-based charter schools operator Green Dot Public Schools announced Monday that it had received a $7.8 million investment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to open 10 new high schools in the Watts neighborhood.


The 10 schools will be built in the community served by the Alain Leroy Locke Senior High School, one of the lowest-performing high schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District.


"Green Dot and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation share the belief that the children of Watts and Los Angeles deserve the best public schools. This grant serves as a clarion call to accelerate bold reform at public schools across the city," Green Dot CEO Steve Barr said in a press release.


Last month, Barr lost a bid to take over Locke High School. The Los Angeles Unified School District board of education refused to allow Green Dot to operate the school, despite Barr's obtaining signatures from many of the teachers on campus.


The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation already gave Green Dot a $1.8 million grant for five charter high schools surrounding Jefferson High School, also in South Los Angeles.


For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.