Department of Education aims to improve low-performing schools

Department of Education aims to improve low-performing schools

Various states, such as Colorado, Iowa and Louisiana, are currently in the process of implementing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). While some schools in these states are fully capable of supporting the CCSS, other institutions could use a little help. Fortunately, the U.S. Department of Education is taking steps to ensure that these schools receive the assistance they require to succeed in the future.

The Department recently announced that 10 states have been selected to receive funding through its School Improvement Grant program. While not all 10 states chosen have adopted the CCSS, those who have will surely benefit from the money they receive.

Through the program, the Department awards grants to State Educational Agencies that go on to break them into competitive subgrants. These are then given to local educational agencies that are in need of funding and can use the money to turn around low-performing schools.

"When schools fail, our children and our neighborhoods suffer," said Arne Duncan, the U.S. secretary of education. "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."

Oklahoma is among the states that will receive a School Improvement Grant. In total, $5.5 million was awarded to the Sooner State, and this is far from the first time Oklahoma has received funding. Overall, Oklahoma has been awarded $50 million in Grant funding, NewsOK reported. To date, Oklahoma City Public Schools and Tulsa Public Schools are among the school systems to benefit from the Grant money.

Iowa will receive $3 million in Department funding, with Irving Elementary, Findley Elementary and Harding Middle School all receiving a portion of the money, the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier reported. Each of these institutions is considered to be among the state's "persistently lowest achieving" schools, which means they are in the bottom 5 percent of institutions statewide.

In addition to Iowa and Oklahoma, Colorado, Indiana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Louisiana, Alaska, North Dakota and Texas all received funding from the Department. Using this money, schools in these states should be able to improve classroom conditions and help students have a shot at the bright futures they deserve.

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