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story.lead_photo.caption A classroom is shown in this 2015 file photo.

The Arkansas Department of Education announced Friday awards totaling $6.7 million made to 175 public schools based on their achievements.

The awards are given to the top 10 percent of schools based on scores on state assessments for grades 3 through 10 as well as the top 10 percent of schools based on student academic growth, including graduation rates, according to a news release.

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"The 175 schools receiving this recognition have demonstrated their commitment to education and student learning,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in a statement. “I commend the students and educators for their hard work and focus on achieving high expectations. They deserve this honor and serve as models of excellence to schools across the state."

The awards announced Friday are based on test results from 2018-2019 and graduation rates from 2017-2018.

A committee at each school, including the principal, a teacher and a parent, will determine how to use the funds, according to the release. They must be used on faculty or staff bonuses, educational equipment and materials or personnel to assist with improving or maintaining student performance.

Read Saturday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.


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