Today, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that New Hampshire, Hawaii, and Idaho will receive approximately $5.2 million to continue efforts to turn around their persistently lowest achieving schools through the Department's School Improvement Grants (SIG) program.
New Hampshire, Hawaii, and Idaho are among the newest states to receive continuation awards for the third year of implementing a SIG model. New Hampshire will receive $1.4 million, Hawaii will receive $1.7 million, and Idaho will receive $2.1 million.
"When schools fail, our children and our neighborhoods suffer," Secretary Duncan said. "Turning around our lowest-performing schools is hard work but it's our responsibility. 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."
These states join the following states that have already received continuation awards: Alabama—$8.1 million; Alaska—$1.5 million; Arkansas—$5.3 million; Arizona—$10.4 million; California—$61.8 million; Connecticut—$3.6 million; Delaware—$1.4 million; Florida—$26.8 million; Iowa—$3 million; Kentucky—$7.7 million; Maryland—$6.8 million; Michigan—$17.8; Minnesota—$5.5 million; Mississippi—$6.1 million; Montana—$1.5 million; New Jersey—$10.4 million; New Mexico—$4.1 million; North Dakota—$1.2 million; Ohio—$20.2 million; Oklahoma—$5.5 million; Oregon—$5.4 million; Pennsylvania—$20.2 million; South Carolina—$7.4 million; Rhode Island—$1.6 million; South Dakota—$1.5 million; Tennessee—$9.8 million; Texas—$49.7 million; Utah—$3.4 million; Virginia—$7.7 million; Washington—$7.8 million; West Virginia—$3.3 million; and Wyoming—$1.1 million.
In addition to the continuation awards, the Department also awards SIG grants to states to run new competitions for previously unfunded schools. The following 15 states have received grants to run new competitions: the District of Columbia—$1.5 million; Colorado—$5.2 million; Georgia—$17.2 million; Illinois—$22.2 million; Indiana—$9.2 million; Kansas—$4 million; Louisiana—$9.6 million; Maine—$1.7 million; Massachusetts—$7.2 million; Missouri—$7.7 million; Nebraska¬—$2.6 million; Nevada—$3.8 million; New York—$37.6 million; North Carolina—$14.3 million; and Wisconsin—$8.1 million.
Grants are awarded to State Educational Agencies (SEAs) that then make competitive subgrants to local educational agencies (LEAs) that demonstrate the greatest need for the funds and the strongest commitment to use them to provide adequate resources, in order 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.