$3.5 Billion in Turnaround Aid Flowing to States
$3.5 Billion in Assistance for Lowest-Performing Schools Boosts Pressure for Swift, Dramatic Action
The largest-ever federal investment in fixing low-achieving schools is now flowing to states, raising the pressure on district leaders to make tough—and quick—decisions about firing principals, replacing teachers, or shutting down schools entirely.
Since last month, the U.S. Department of Education has been sending states their shares of $3.5 billion in Title I School Improvement Grants, money provided mostly by last year’s economic-stimulus package, as well as from $546 million in regular fiscal 2009 appropriations.
Less than six months from now, selected schools that rank among the bottom 5 percent in their states—the priority under the grant program—will be required to launch one of four “turnaround” strategies outlined by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. It’s a daunting timeline for some district leaders, who are eager for the windfall of support for struggling schools but may have qualms about the strict conditions for...
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