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NC Lands $13.6M Grant Aimed at Low-Performing Schools

News & Observer (12/27/13) Stancill, Jane

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced the latest round of School Improvement Grants, including the largest of $13.6 million awarded to North Carolina, aimed at transforming low-performing schools. Seven states-North Carolina, Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Wisconsin-received $43.4 million in grants. State Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson said there are 118 schools considered to be consistently low performing. Schools can apply for the grant funds through a competitive process, with an improvement plan using one of four approaches: transformation, turnaround, closure, or restart. The grants cover three- to four-year periods, with state monitoring for better student achievement and graduation rates. "To date, we have found that generally speaking, they have made tremendous progress at these schools. Some more than others," said Atkinson. The grants will be allocated by the beginning of the 2014-15 school year, and some said the grants will be used to transition to the Common Core State Standards. "We have so many needs, especially with our students who are struggling. We have new standards. This money will be welcomed by the schools who will receive it," she said.
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