THE BILL & Melinda Gates Foundation is giving $2.5 million to pay for new educational initiatives that will benefit Philadelphia's district, charter, parochial and private schools.

Philly was one of seven district-charter compact cities that received multimillion-dollar grants Wednesday from the Gates Foundation, which handed out a total of $25 million.

Each city has signed agreements with various educational sectors pledging to work together to improve schools.

The Philadelphia Great Schools Compact has commitments from Mayor Nutter, the school district, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Coalition of Charter Schools, the state Department of Education and others to collaborate on expanding the number of high-performing schools.

The proposed initiatives include: a principal-development program called the Urban Leadership Academy, to train and certify 40 to 50 aspiring principals per year, and the expansion of a Mastery Charter Schools' program for teacher coaches.

Lori Shorr, the city's chief education officer and chairwoman of the compact committee, said there were misperceptions that led to tensions about charter schools early on.

"It's time to put adult foolishness aside, as the mayor likes to say, and start to talk about outcomes for kids and how we can learn from each other and not waste taxpayer money in duplicating services," Shorr said.

The other cities that received grants were: Boston; Denver; Hartford, Conn., New Orleans; New York, and Spring Branch, Texas.