U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced that nine states will receive more than $71 million to continue efforts to turn around their persistently lowest-achieving schools through awards from the Department's
School Improvement Grants (SIG) program. The states that will be using the funds to make new awards are: Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma and South Dakota. Wyoming will use the funds to make continuation awards.
"When schools fail, our children and neighborhoods suffer," 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. 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:
New Jersey $9,485,864
South Dakota $1,440,238