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Seattle – Marking another phase in his education agenda, Bill Gates is now taking a more targeted approach to help struggling U.S. schools.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has started funding groups working directly with clusters of public schools in some of the most impoverished regions of the country.

Many of those third-party groups already had relationships with the world’s largest philanthropy, and some of the grants went straight to a school district and charter schools organization.

The foundation on Tuesday announced the first round of nearly $100 million for 19 program initiatives for middle and high schools in poor communities across 13 states.

Gates pledged $460 million over the next five years to fund networks of school programs that help low-income and minority students get to college.

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