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AT&T Awards $107,000 Grant to the Public School Forum of North Carolina.

Grant to Provide Funds for Reform Effort of Regional School Systems

RALEIGH, N.C., April 3, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The AT&T Foundation -- the corporate philanthropy organization of AT&T Inc. -- announced today that it has awarded a $107,000 grant to the Public School Forum of North Carolina.

The grant will support the forum's work with the Columbia Group, a consortium of education-reform organizations in seven Southeastern states dedicated to improving school systems to ensure students' success.

In addition to research and work in the public-policy arena, the forum manages the Teaching Fellows Program and oversees a major five-county school-improvement project. This project has created a network of after-school programs for disadvantaged young people and is providing training for teachers and administrators. The forum also provides support to school-business partnerships across North Carolina. It has created and currently oversees a network of 20 elementary and middle school programs that offer young people the hourly equivalent of 80 additional days of school. The forum also oversees a network of high schools that have introduced hands-on technology training into their curriculum. This year, the forum began a new leadership-development program for school administrators.

"Beginning with the creation of the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program more than 20 years ago, the forum has continually worked to help improve public education," said John Dornan, president and executive director of the Public School Forum. "Whether through our research projects, study groups or programs, we want to provide the qualitative and quantitative data policymakers need if we are to succeed in making North Carolina's schools second to none."

In 1995, business-supported public-policy centers in the Southeast began discussing the creation of a regional network. The concept struck a responsive chord. Now called the Columbia Group, the network is coordinated by the Public School Forum and is gaining a national reputation for thought leadership on school-reform initiatives. For the past 10 years, the National Business Roundtable has used the Columbia Group as a sounding board and a vehicle to advance national issues.

"North Carolina has long been known as a state committed to the education of the children," said Sen. Katie Dorsett, Forum board chair. "Working with our sister states through the Columbia Group helps to drive education reform to improve school systems, ensuring that students possess the necessary skills to succeed in high school and in the workforce."

Cynthia Marshall, president of AT&T North Carolina, said the grant underscores AT&T's long tradition of corporate citizenship and commitment to education.

"AT&T is dedicated to connecting people with their world, and there is no better way to do that than through education," Marshall said. "The education-reform initiatives undertaken by the Columbia Group and by the Public School Forum have benefited hundreds of thousands of students throughout the region. We are pleased to have the opportunity to help that work continue."

About Philanthropy at AT&T

AT&T Inc. is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its philanthropic initiatives and partnerships, AT&T supports projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; and address community needs. In 2007, AT&T contributed more than $164 million through corporate-, employee- and AT&T Foundation-giving programs. AT&T and the AT&T Foundation, the corporate philanthropy organization of AT&T, combine more than $1.9 billion of historic charitable commitment to communities across the country.

About AT&T

AT&T Inc. is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates, AT&T operating companies, are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. Among their offerings are the world's most advanced IP-based business communications services and the nation's leading wireless, high speed Internet access and voice services. In domestic markets, AT&T is known for the directory publishing and advertising sales leadership of its Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.COM organizations, and the AT&T brand is licensed to innovators in such fields as communications equipment. As part of its three-screen integration strategy, AT&T is expanding its TV entertainment offerings. Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at http://www.att.com/.

(C) 2008 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. AT&T, the AT&T logo and all other marks contained herein are trademarks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies.

Note: This AT&T news release and other announcements are available as part of an RSS feed at http://www.att.com/rss. For more information, please review this announcement in the AT&T newsroom at http://www.att.com/newsroom.

CONTACT: Clifton Metcalf of AT&T, +1-704-417-8741, cell, +1-704-488-7686, cm0623@att.com

Web site: http://www.att.com/
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