AT&T unveiled a $100 million initiative April 17 designed to curb the country's high school dropout rate, which has reached critical levels in recent years, according to education experts.

The AT&T Aspire program will distribute the $100 million over four years through a competitive grant process, said Eric Hausken, a spokesman for AT&T. The grant money will be distributed by the start of the 2008-09 school year--which begins in August in most U.S. school districts--and will be doled out to school systems and local education organizations in $50,000 to $100,000 increments.

A staple of the initiative will be a job shadowing program


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