NJDOE News

For More Information Contact the Public Information Office:
    Beth Auerswald
    Richard Vespucci
    Kathryn Forsyth, Director
    609-292-1126

For Release: March 29, 2010


Commissioner Schundler Welcomes Nearly $66.7 Million in Federal Funds to Help Districts Turn Around New Jersey’s Persistently Lowest Achieving Schools

Commissioner Bret Schundler today welcomed the U.S. Department of Education’s recent announcement that New Jersey will receive approximately $66.7 million to assist in turn-around efforts for the state’s persistently lowest performing schools.

New Jersey has been awarded $66,672,258 from USDE’s School Improvement Grants program to help school districts implement dramatic change in the state’s lowest performing schools.

“This latest infusion of federal dollars presents us with a unique opportunity to transform New Jersey schools that exhibit the greatest need for fundamental change,” said Commissioner Schundler. “With the state’s support and the targeted federal dollars, I am confident that the recipient schools will be able to make dramatic improvements in how they educate children.”

Districts with schools identified by the state Department of Education as Tier I or Tier II will be eligible to apply for the competitive grant. Districts can seek between $50,000 and $2 million per school for each year of the three-year grant.

Eligible districts have until mid-April to apply to the state for the funds. In June, DOE will notify districts whether their applications have been approved.

As part of the application process, districts have to identify one of four models to be utilized to implement change at each school. The USDE-identified methods include:

  • Turnaround -- Replace principal, screen existing school staff, and rehire no more than half of the school’s teachers; adopt a new governance structure; and improve the school through curriculum reform, professional development, extending learning time and other strategies;

  • Restart -- Convert the school, or close it and re-open as a charter school or under an education management organization;

  • School closure -- Close the school and send students to higher-achieving schools in the district;

  • Transformation -- Replace principal and improve the school through comprehensive curriculum reform, professional development, extending learning time and other strategies.

“USDE’s four models all offer an excellent opportunity for districts to choose the transformation method that is most appropriate for each school and community,” said Commissioner Schundler. “DOE officials already have been in contact with districts that have Tier I or II schools, and we will continue to work with them to apply these and other strategies to provide every child with access to a high-quality education.”

DOE support services to districts will include oversight and support for implementation of selected reform models. DOE also will provide principal training, turnaround coaches and educator networks.

Tier I Schools

Asbury Park

Asbury Park Middle School

Camden City

South Camden Alternative School
Morgan Village Middle School
Pyne Poynt Middle School
Riletta Cream Elementary School
Hatch Middle School
Cramer Elementary School
U.S. Wiggins Elementary School
Camden High School

East Orange

Patrick F. Healy Middle School

Emily Fisher Charter School

Jersey City

Fred W. Martin Number 1

Newark

Academy of Vocational Careers
Avon Avenue School
Martin Luther King Jr. School
Dayton Street School
George Washington Carver School

Paterson

Number 4/Dr. Frank Napier Jr. School of Technology
Number 6/Academy of Performing Arts

Trenton

Grace A. Dunn Middle School

Tier II Schools

Asbury Park

Asbury Park High School

Camden City

Woodrow Wilson High School

Essex County Vocational

West Caldwell Tech

Irvington

Irvington High School

Jersey City

Henry Snyder High School

Newark

Renaissance Academy
Barringer High School
Central High School
Newark Vocational High School
Malcolm X. Shabazz High School

Roselle

Abraham Clark High School

Trenton

Trenton Central High School

More information on how Tier I and II schools were selected can be found at: http://www.state.nj.us/education/arra/sig/descriptord1.htm.

Tier III schools will be notified of eligibility to apply for the program if any funds remain after awards for Tier I and II schools are announced.