Applications Now Available for $3.5 Billion in Title I School Improvement Grants to Turn Around Nation's Lowest Achieving Public Schools
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December 03, 2009
Contact: Sandra Abrevaya
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Today, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the final requirements for $3.5 billion in Title I School Improvement grants to turn around the nation's lowest performing schools. The applications are now available at and are due into the Department of Education by Feb. 8, 2010.

"As a country, we all need to get into the turnaround business," said Duncan. "Today we are providing $3.5 billion and four models that have proven results so that school districts, unions, charter operators, universities and the business community can come together to turn around our nation's lowest performing schools. Adults need to have the courage to make these tough decisions and do right by our kids."

These funds are made available to states by formula and competed for by school districts. As they compete for the funds, school districts (LEAs) must identify the schools they want to transform, and then determine which of the four following models is most appropriate. If a school has begun implementation of one of these four models or components of one of these models within the last two years, it may apply to use SIG funds to continue to implement the full model.

In selecting the districts to which funds will be awarded the state must use specific criteria outlined by the Department. In their applications, states must identify and prioritize these funds to its persistently lowest-achieving schools. These schools are defined as:

Title I School Improvement Grants are funded by $546.6 million in the fiscal year 2009 appropriation and an additional $3 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to support the transformational changes that are needed to turn around the nation's lowest-achieving schools. The Department is also making available the 5 percent administrative funds to SEAs to assist with planning and program activities related to SIG implementation.

The full list of requirements and final application can be found at



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Last Modified: 12/07/2009