Tuesday, April 3, 2012

ED Awards 9 States SIG Funds

Last Friday, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced that 9 states would receive a portion of the $535 million set aside for School Improvement Grants (SIG) in the FY 11 budget. The SIG program is intended to provide funding for states that are looking to turnaround their persistently low-performing schools. The SIG funds available in FY 11 are down from the $546 million available in FY 10.

In order to be eligible for SIG funding, states must agree to utilize one of the following school improvement models for each persistently low-performing school:
  • Transformation - this approach involves the installment of a new principal and the adoption of a variety of school improvement strategies, which may include include extended learning time, professional development, and redesigned curricula. 
  • Turnaround -this model requires the installment a new principal, the rehiring no more than 50% of the teachers who previously worked at the persistently low-performing school, the creation of a new governance structure, and the adoption of a variety of school improvement strategies as described in the previous approach.
  • Restart - this model involves the conversion, or closure and reopening, of the persistently low-performing school into a charter school or its placement under the control of an education management organization. 
  • Closure - this approach involves the closure of the persistently low-performing school and the enrollment of its students in higher-performing schools within the same district.

The nine states that were awarded grants include: Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Nebraska, North Dakota, Pennsylvania.
If you would like to learn more about the purpose and implementation of SIGs, check out the technical assistance resources and grantee information available on the ED website here.

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