With support from Microsoft Corp. chairman Bill Gates and his foundation, seven school districts across North Carolina will share $300,000 in grant money that will help them prepare small, technology-themed high schools, Gov. Mike Easley said May 18.

The money will be used by the districts to plan schools based on a New Technology High School in Napa, Calif. Schools modeled on the Napa facility reportedly have opened in 11 spots nationwide. (See "New 'high-tech' high schools aim to transform learning".)

The target date for the new schools to open in North


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