The programme has a total value of £120 million and will include the construction of three new academies, the rebuild of Washington School and the refurbishment of both Biddick School Sports College and St Robert of Newminster RC School.
Balfour Beatty will carry out the deal in partnership with information technology provider RM.
Leader councillor Bob Symonds said: "Reaching financial close means the building blocks are now in place for this pioneering programme and construction work will begin soon.
“We are looking forward to working with Balfour Beatty Construction and RM to transform the school experience for thousands of children and young people throughout the city.”
Balfour Beatty’s northern divisional director, Kevin Donegan, said he was delighted to have secured the design and build contract.
He added: “We look forward to delivering these first class facilities for the students and parents of Sunderland to enjoy for years to come.”