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Deadline Arrives for School Improvement Grants

By Sara Robertson

February 8, 2010 -- Today marks the first major deadline in the Obama Administration’s reform initiative targeting the country's lowest-achieving schools as applications are now due for states wishing to participate in the $3.5 billion Title I School Improvement Grants program.

The grants will be awarded to participating states in late February, according to the Department of Education’s timeline. In March or April, eligible local districts may apply for funding through their states and will receive the grants in May, with implementation of these grant-funded "intervention" models to begin in September.

"While many school districts and our NEA affiliates are already planning or discussing school intervention strategies, much of the heavy work will begin once the grants are distributed to the local level," says NEA policy analyst Robert Kim. "NEA will continue to provide information and tools about the SIG program for affiliates so that they may help their members and those schools that will be part of the program." 

Under the program, districts with schools in the top two "tiers" of the lowest-achieving schools category would choose from several intervention models, which include everything from transformation through district-union-community partnerships, to total closure.

As part of NEA's Priority Schools Campaign, the Association and its state affiliates will provide guidance and resources to School Improvement Grant recipients, as well as other low-achieving schools, in order to make permanent changes to raise student achievement.

The School Improvement Grants program is part of the Obama Administration's $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.


Learn more about the School Improvement Grants

Get all the details on NEA's Priority Schools Campaign

Read more about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the "Race to the Top" Program