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Deadline February 8 For School Improvement Grants

Administrative Funds Available Now

Applications are due on February 8 for the Title 1 School Improvement Grants, which targets the lowest-performing schools for turnaround.  The Department decided to immediately release the five percent of each state’s grant dedicated to covering administrative costs.  These funds, available now, are intended to help ease the burden of applying for the SIG grants.  States may allocate some of these upfront funds to districts to help them prepare to implement turnaround strategies.

To receive School Improvement Grants, states must identify their lowest-performing schools.  These schools must implement one of the four approved models:

  • turnaround: replace the principal and at least half the staff; give new leadership operational flexibility
  • restart: convert or close school; reopen as charter school or under management of education management organization
  • closure: enroll students in higher-performing schools in the district
  • transformation: replace principal, increase teacher and principal effectiveness, institute comprehensive instructional reforms, increase learning time, and provide operational flexibility and sustained support

The definitions of these models was changed somewhat from the draft guidance to the final guidance, and is now consistent across Race to the Top and the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, as well as the Title 1 School Improvement Grant program.  The final SIG application notes that any school implementing one of these models or components of one of the models may use funding to continue its work, provided it fully implements one of these four models.

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