U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced that Kansas will receive $26,761,950 to turn around its persistently lowest achieving schools through the School Improvement Grants (SIG) program. These funds are part of the $3.5 billion that will be made available to states this spring from money set aside in the 2009 budget and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
"When a school continues to perform in the bottom five percent of the state and isn't showing signs of growth or has graduation rates below 60 percent, something dramatic needs to be done," said Duncan. "Turning around our worst performing schools is difficult for everyone but it is critical that we show the courage to do the right thing by kids."
The $26,761,950 made available to Kansas is being distributed by formula to the state and will then be competed out by the state to school districts. In order for a school district to apply for these funds, it must have a state-identified "persistently lowest achieving" or a Tier III school -- a school that has failed to meet annual yearly progress for two years and is not identified as a persistently lowest achieving school.
However, Tier III schools can only receive funds once all of the state's persistently lowest achieving schools have received funds.
Schools in the area that qualify to apply are:
Tier I - South Middle School, Liberal
Tier II - Liberal High School, Liberal
Tier III - Cottonwood Intermediate School, Liberal and Kepley Middle School, Ulysses