Governor Rell: Gov. Rell: State To Receive $25.7 Million In Stimulus Funds for Education

{Seal of the State of Connecticut}


M. Jodi Rell

April 15, 2010

Governor Rell: State To Receive $25.7 Million

In Stimulus Funds for Education


School Achievement Grants Focus On Closing Achievement Gap


Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced that Connecticut will receive $25.7 million in federal stimulus funds aimed at closing the achievement gap by providing school districts with the resources to improve their lowest performing schools.


The Governor said the state Department of Education will provide the School Improvement Grants (SIG) to eligible school districts in order for them to turn around their lowest achieving schools, particularly those who serve children living in poverty.


“Every Connecticut child should have the opportunity to excel in the classroom. We have some of the highest performing schools in the nation, and unfortunately, some of the lowest. These dollars will go a long way toward closing that achievement gap,” Governor Rell said.


“Local school districts hear from concerned parents all the time and are intimately familiar with the achievement issues in some of their schools. These grants will allow them to address the program in a number ways,” the Governor said. “They can completely restructure curriculum, change administration and in the most drastic cases, close down a school.”


“While Connecticut has some of the highest performing schools in the world, we also have schools that serve large populations of children who live in poverty, resulting in one of the largest achievement gaps in the nation. The $25.7 million coming to Connecticut will help our lowest performing schools to restructure to improve services and support greater academic success. These dollars should go a long way toward closing the gap,” said Gov. Rell. 


The Governor said the $25.7 million, being distributed to states through the U.S. Department of Education, will be awarded to local school districts on a competitive basis. To apply, a school district must have a state-identified "persistently lowest achieving" school. Eligible districts are: Hartford, New Haven, New Britain, Bridgeport, Windham, Area Cooperative Educational Services (ACES) and Stamford Academy, a charter school. Districts may qualify for as much as $2 million per school and must apply for the funding by May 14.


“Under recently enacted state law, these districts are required to develop school and district improvement plans which are already being implemented,” State Education Commissioner Mark K. McQuillan said. “These new dollars will further those efforts and assist with restructuring efforts that can accelerate improvements and expand services to students who really need them the most.”


Connecticut’s application, which includes its list of persistently lowest achieving schools, as defined by the state, can be found here:


When school districts apply, they must indicate that they will implement one of the following four models in their persistently lowest achieving schools:

  • TURNAROUND MODEL: Replace the principal, screen existing school staff, and rehire no more than half the teachers; adopt a new governance structure; and improve the school through curriculum reform, professional development, extending learning time, and other strategies.
  • RESTART MODEL: Convert a school or close it and re-open it as a charter school or under an education management organization.
  • SCHOOL CLOSURE: Close the school and send the students to higher-achieving schools in the district.
  • TRANSFORMATION MODEL: Replace the principal and improve the school through comprehensive curriculum reform, professional development, extending learning time, and other strategies.

Once schools receive SIG funds, they will be able to begin to spend them immediately to turn around schools this fall. Connecticut applied for and received a waiver to allow its districts to spend funds over a three-year period. An additional $545,633,000 has been provided for SIG in 2010 and will be awarded to states to fund additional schools in the 2011-12 school year.


Content Last Modified on 4/15/2010 4:07:47 PM

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