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Arkansas gets $5 million grant to improve education

By ArkansasOnline

This article was published December 23, 2013 at 3:33 p.m.

Arkansas will receive more than $5 million in a federal grant to help raise student achievement and provide resources to the state's lowest-performing schools, the U.S. Department of Education announced in a statement Monday afternoon.

The state will receive $5,015,453 from the department's School Improvement Grants program, an initiative to help transform the nation's lowest-achieving schools, according to the department.

Arkansas is among seven states to receive money from the program to help turn around their schools, the department said. Grants are awarded to state educational agencies that use the money to offer competitive subgrants to school districts that "demonstrate the greatest need for the funds and the strongest commitment to provide adequate resources" to help raise academic achievement.

"When schools fail, our children and neighborhoods suffer," U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. "Turning around our lowest-performing schools is hard work but it's our responsibility."

Arkansas and Kentucky will be awarded grants to help start a new competition for previously unfunded schools, while the remaining five states will receive continuation grants for their existing programs.

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jmoz says... December 24, 2013 at 8:40 a.m.

So which schools in Arkansas will be recipients of the subgrants? How will the money be used and will the monies have to be repaid if the desired improvements are not achieved? Or will the state just send the monies to the lowest performing schools in the Delta to be used to pay existing teacher salaries and benefits? There is never any mention of the strings that attach to such grants and subgrants, so we may assume it's just more free money from the taxpayers of the United States.

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