ARRA Grant Programs

Title I School Improvement Grants 1003(g)

Program Description: School Improvement Grants (SIG) are used to improve student achievement in Title I LEAs. School districts (LEAs) must identify the schools they want to transform, and then determine which of the four models (Turnaround, Restart, Transformation or School Closure) is most appropriate.

School Eligibility

Eligible applicants must be Local Education Agencies (LEAs) receiving Title I, Part A funds with an identified Priority school(s) in the state. In awarding such subgrants, an SEA must give priority to the local educational agencies with the lowest-achieving schools that demonstrate: (A) the greatest need for such funds; and (B) the strongest commitment to ensuring that such funds are used to provide adequate resources to enable the lowest-achieving schools to meet the goals under school and local educational agency improvement, corrective action, and restructuring plans. Successful applicants also demonstrate the strongest commitment and capacity for ensuring that funds are used to substantially raise student achievement.

Turnaround Strategies

Once an SEA has an approved application, an LEA that wishes to receive a School Improvement Grant must submit an application to its SEA identifying which Priority schools it commits to serve and how it will use school improvement funds in its Priority schools to implement one of the following four school intervention models intended to improve the management and effectiveness of these schools:

Turnaround model, which includes, among other actions, replacing the principal and rehiring no more than 50 percent of the school’s staff, adopting a new governance structure, and implementing an instructional program that is research-based and vertically aligned from one grade to the next as well as aligned with a State’s academic standards.

Restart model, in which an LEA converts the school or closes and reopens it under the management of a charter school operator, a charter management organization (CMO), or an education management organization (EMO) that has been selected through a rigorous review process.

School closure, in which an LEA closes the school and enrolls the students who attended the school in other, higher-achieving schools in the LEA.

Transformation model, which addresses four specific areas critical to transforming persistently lowest-achieving schools.

USDE has fully aligned the school intervention models and related definitions across the Race to the Top, the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund Phase II, and the School Improvement Grants programs to make it easier for States to develop and implement consistent and coherent plans for turning around their persistently lowest-achieving schools.

Please refer to the MDE Turnaround Schools website for more information.

Visit the U.S. Department of Education website to view the SIG final requirements and the application.

Contacts:

Greg Keith, 651-582-8316

Elizabeth Ziemer, 651-582-8323

Debbie Zimmerman, 651-582-8411