Seven CCS schools receive $20 million in SIG funds

“Eraser finished with cleaning chalkboard” from Flickr user frozenchipmunk.

The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) announced that 42 Ohio schools will receive $95 million in School Improvement Grant (SIG) monies over the next three years. A total of seven of the 42 schools are from the Columbus City School district.

SIG grants differ from the Race to the Top program. Rather than entire school districts receiving SIG funds, specific school buildings will receive federal monies.  According to the US Department of Education, SIG grants are used to improve student achievement in Title I schools identified for improvement, corrective action, or restructuring so as to enable those schools to make Adequate Yearly Progress and exit improvement status.

Federal grant guidelines defined the eligibility of schools to apply for SIG monies. All eligible schools in states that applied for SIG funds were put in one of three Tiers. Tier I schools were defined by the federal government as the lowest achieving five percent of schools receiving Title I funds and were in school improvement. Secondary schools receiving Title I funds that had a five year graduation rate of less than 60 percent were also in this category. The National Education Association, Ohio Education Association and Columbus Education Association define these institutions as “Priority Schools”.

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CCS to apply for federal grant

Ohio was awarded $132 million in School Improvement Grant (SIG) money from the U.S. Department of Education. The award is part of $3.5 billion set aside in the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act and the federal budget.

“We’re grateful for these federal resources, which will greatly improve the ability of our lowest-performing schools to develop a strategy for improvement that fits their unique circumstances,” said Governor Ted Strickland.

CCS will apply on behalf of seven of its schools for federal money from the SIG grants. Each school can be awarded up to a total of $2 million per year for up to three years. Eligible schools include: Alum Crest HS, Champion MS, Columbus Global Academy, Linden-McKinley STEM Academy, Southmoor MS, Weinland Park ES and West HS.

During the following weeks, each school will develop its own plan and goals through the School Leadership Team in partnership with CCS. Senior FRs and principals will meet on Tuesday, Apr.13, to begin the process. Ohio school districts have until Apr. 30 to submit their applications. The Ohio Department of Education will announce in June which districts’ applications have been approved.