Illinois To Get $22 Million In Federal ‘School Improvement’ Grants

Illinois is set to get a $22 million pot of grant money from the U.S. Department of Education to “continue efforts to turn around … persistently lowest-achieving schools,” the department said Tuesday.

In addition to Illinois, four other states won funds as part of the Department of Education’s School Improvement Grants program.

“When schools fail, our children and neighborhoods suffer,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, in a statement. “Turning around our lowest-performing schools is hard work but it’s our responsibility, and represents a tremendous opportunity to improve the life chances of children.”

School districts that win approval are allowed to use the grant funds to put into action various reform plans, such as letting a charter or turnaround operator take over a poor-performing school.

Illinois also received $22 million in School Improvement Grants last year. The funds were used to reform four schools in three districts, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

In Chicago, 77 schools would qualify for grant funding this year, according to the Illinois State Board of Education.

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