29 Mar Low-Achieving Schools Can Apply for Fed FundsMarch 29, 2010
By: CHELSEA SCHNEIDER KIRKSource: The Post-Tribune
The region’s lowest-achieving schools can apply for a share of $61 million in federal stimulus funding awarded to the state Friday but will first need to commit to a series of reforms outlined by the U.S. Department of Education.
The funds first will be used to help the state’s 64 schools identified as those with persistent low achievement. In Northwest Indiana, schools that can apply for the funding include East Chicago Central High School, Gary Lighthouse Charter and Roosevelt High School.
Then more than 200 schools failing to meet annual yearly progress under No Child Left Behind for two years may apply. Among schools in the Gary Community School Corp., Beveridge Elementary, Watson Academy for Boys and Glen Park Academy potentially could apply for funding. Fieler Elementary School in Merrillville and Homan Elementary in the Lake Central School Corp. are also on the state’s list.
Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett said the federal grant will allow Indiana’s lowest performing schools to recreate themselves.
"Our efforts to turn around low achieving schools have already begun, and these dollars will provide … the extra boost they need to make necessary changes at a rapid pace, ultimately benefiting Hoosier students," Bennett said in a released statement.
School districts will apply for the funding this spring and will need to commit to one of four reform models designed to boost student achievement. The models call for replacing the school’s principal, converting a school into a charter and even school closure.
"I am confident in our comprehensive turnaround plans, and I am anxious to see the positive impact this funding will have on students around our state," stated Benne tt.