Archived Information

U.S. Department of Education Awards Nearly $100 Million to Improve Academic Performance and Support Dropout Prevention


Contact:  
(202) 401-1576, press@ed.gov


U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced almost $100 million in grants to support state and local efforts to reform high schools and improve the educational outcomes of students.

“These grants will help our local communities and states in working towards President Obama’s goal of once again having the highest college completion rate in the world by the end of the decade,” Secretary Duncan said. “To achieve this goal, high schools must ensure more students graduate and are prepared for success in college and careers.”

Twenty-eight high schools will receive $52.2 million under the Smaller Learning Communities program and 29 states and districts will receive $46.6 million under High School Graduation Initiative program.

The Smaller Learning Communities grants support large comprehensive high schools to create smaller, personalized learning environments with the goal of improving the academic achievement of their students and preparing them for postsecondary education. Grantees will also focus on improving teaching and learning by providing teachers with more common planning time to meet the needs of their students.

For example, the St. Louis Public Schools in Missouri will use some of their grant funding to partner with College Summit. Together, they will offer a new course for juniors on how to plan and prepare for college, create College Resource Centers for students, and carry out a school-wide initiative to equip students with the skills they need to succeed in more academically challenging courses. In the Robbinsdale Independent School District in Minnesota, the district will be aligning its curriculum with college-ready standards, establishing rigorous college-prep programs in the lower grades, and supporting teachers by providing instructional coaching and more time to collaborate during the school day.

The U.S. Department of Education’s High School Graduation Initiative supports activities such as early warning systems designed to identify students at risk of dropping out, rigorous academic programs and support services to engage students and implement dropout prevention, credit recovery programs, and targeted re-engagement programs that identify out-of-school youth and encourage them to reenter school. The Initiative targets high schools with high dropout rates or middle schools that feed into schools with high dropout rates.

The Massachusetts Department of Education will implement a statewide dropout prevention strategy that includes the creation of three Gateway to College programs. The work will enable high school dropouts and other at-risk students to complete their high school diploma at a community college while earning college credits toward an associate’s degree or certificate. Washoe County School District in Nevada will create new options for at-risk youth, establishing a network of small schools that will give dropouts, and students at risk of dropping out, the opportunity to pursue an individualized education program to earn their diploma.

The 28 Smaller Learning Communities grantees are:

SLC Grant Recipient NameStateGrant Award Amount
Fairbanks-NorthStar-Borough School District AK $631,975
Fayetteville School District #1 AR $653,886
Oakland Unified School District CA $2,581,563
Woodland Joint Unified School District CA $1,534,537
Baldwin Park Unified School District CA $1,355,873
Long Beach Unified School District CA $2,018,607
Antioch Unified School District CA $664,431
Bluff Joint Union High School District CA $720,641
Atlanta Public SchoolsGA $2,112,553
Hawaii State Department of Education HI $3,446,866
Chicago Public Schools IL $4,735,739
Jefferson County Board of Education KY $3,795,483
Beverly Public Schools MA $756,000
Robbinsdale Independent School District 281 MN $1,291,381
Board of Education of the City of St. Louis MO $1,721,017
West Orange Board of Education NJ $851,898
Los Lunas Schools NM $1,314,492
Syracuse City School District NY $2,955,979
New York City Department of Education NY $4,587,741
Albany-Schoharie-Schenectady-Saratoga Board of Cooperative Educational ServicesNY$748,939
Springfield School District #19 OR $1,612,627
School District of Philadelphia PA $3,386,349
Laurel Highlands School District PA $562,889
Bradley County Schools TN $2,517,541
Region 1 Education Service Center TX $2,538,353
Ogden City School District UT $1,528,896
Chesterfield County Public Schools VA $843,971
Tacoma Public Schools WA $728,257
TOTAL $52,198,484

The 29 High School Graduation Initiative grantees are:

HSGI Grant Recipient NameStateGrant Award Amount
Mobile County Public School System AL $1,651,537.00
Los Angeles Unified School District CA $2,315,000.00
Pasadena Unified School District CA $817,073.00
Riverside County Office of Education CA $1,333,568.00
Colorado Department of Education CO $3,000,000.00
Hartford School District CT $2,732,987.00
School District of Palm Beach County, Florida FL $1,468,606.00
The School Board of Broward County, Florida FL $902,011.00
Jones County Schools GA $1,446,950.00
Des Moines Independent Community Schools IA $1,200,507.00
Davenport Community School District IA $217,107.00
West 40 Intermediate Service Center #2 IL $1,461,637.00
Bloom Township High School District 206 IL $1,047,464.00
Chicago Public Schools, District #299 IL $2,928,547.00
St. Clair County Educational Cooperative Board IL $988,394.00
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education MA $3,000,000.00
City of Haverhill DBA Haverhill High School MA $760,647.00
School District of the City of Pontiac MI $1,209,304.00
Board of Education of the City of St. Louis MO $1,420,018.00
Lincoln Public Schools NE $858,459.00
Clark County School District NV $946,090.00
Washoe County School District NV $1,920,242.00
Syracuse City School District NY $1,025,648.00
School District 1J Multnomah County OR $1,589,921.00
Salem-Keizer School District 24J OR $1,031,367.55
Allentown City School District PA $2,546,687.00
San Antonio Independent School District TX $2,842,810.00
Sunnyside School District No.201 WA $1,111,832.00
Seattle Public Schools WA v$2,836,268.00
TOTAL $46,610,681.55