U.S. Department of Education Announces Awards to Five States to Continue Efforts to Turn Around Lowest-Performing Schools


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Press Office, (202) 401-1576, press@ed.gov


U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced that five states will receive more than $85 million to continue efforts to turn around their persistently lowest-achieving schools through awards from the Department's School Improvement Grants (SIG) program. The following states are receiving awards: Alaska, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania and South Carolina.

"When schools fail, our children and neighborhoods suffer," Secretary Arne Duncan said. "Turning around our lowest-performing schools is hard work but it's our responsibility, and represents a tremendous opportunity to improve the life chances of children. The privilege to have an impact on the lives of our students is an absolute joy. We owe it to our children, their families and the broader community. These School Improvement Grants are helping some of the lowest-achieving schools provide a better education for students who need it the most."

School Improvement Grants are awarded to State Educational Agencies (SEAs) that then make competitive subgrants to school districts that demonstrate the greatest need for the funds and the strongest commitment to provide adequate resources to substantially raise student achievement in their lowest-performing schools.

Under the Obama Administration, the SIG program has invested up to $2 million per school at more than 1,500 of the country's lowest-performing schools. Early findings show positive momentum and progress in many SIG schools. Findings also show that many schools receiving SIG grants are improving, and some of the greatest gains have been in small towns and rural communities.

States announced today and their grant amounts are:

Alaska — $1,519,520
Illinois — $22,060,358
New York — $36,046,044
Pennsylvania — $18,355,214
South Carolina — $7,195,035