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For More Information Contact the Public Information Office:
    Kathryn Forsyth
    Rich Vespucci
    Beth Auerswald

For Immediate Release: January 20, 2009

Low Performing Title I Schools Can Apply for School Improvement Funds

New Jersey’s lowest-performing schools again have an opportunity to apply for a portion of approximately $10 million in school improvement grants.  The grants are funded by the United States Education Department (USDE) to fund local improvement efforts in Title I schools that have the greatest need to increase the knowledge and skills of their academically needy students.

Awards ranging from $75,000 to $100,000 will be made available for each Title I school, depending on the number of years that the school has been designated a school in need of improvement.  Title I is a federal aid to education program that provides funding for schools to improve reading and math skills for academically disadvantaged children.

“It is essential for our schools in need of improvement to take prompt and positive action to address the needs of all students whose achievement levels are lagging,” said Commissioner of Education Lucille E. Davy.  “These schools have the opportunity to receive grant funds to help offset the cost of their efforts to raise academic achievement for their students who have the greatest needs.  I strongly encourage all of our eligible  Title I schools to complete the application so that they can receive these funds.”  

Grant awards will be given to any Title I school designated as a federal school in need of improvement who are have a year five sanction status or higher.  Schools in Year 5 sanctions will receive $75,000; schools in years 6, 7 and 8 will receive $100,000.   Eligible schools must submit applications to the New Jersey Department of Education.

This is the second year that USDE has provided funding for schools in need of improvement.  Staff from the New Jersey Department of Education have been conducting technical assistance sessions to help the 38 schools eligible to receive a second year award and the 69 schools eligible as new grantees to complete their applications.

Schools are expected to use the funds for programs such as coaching for school staff and administrators, assistance for struggling students, and improvement of classroom instruction.