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Christie Administration Announces $1 Million in Grants to Improve Achievement for Students with Disabilities in Low-Performing Schools

For Immediate Release Contact: Mike Yaple
Rich Vespucci
Date: September 18, 2013 609-292-1126

Trenton, NJ – The Christie Administration today announced $1 million in grants to improve literacy and math skills for students with disabilities in 19 schools throughout New Jersey. These funds will support students with disabilities in the state's highest-need schools, designated as "Priority" or "Focus" schools. 

"We have focused intensive efforts this past year to help turn around our lowest-performing schools, and these grants will provide additional support to those schools," said Education Commissioner Chris Cerf. "Whether they provide classroom programs, new reading materials and technology for students, or professional development for teachers and training for parents, the students will benefit."

The grant was designed and awarded by the Department as part of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act(IDEA) grant. The IDEA grant program allows the New Jersey Department of Education to decide how the funding will be allocated to assist students with disabilities. While New Jersey has utilized discretionary special education grants for many years, this is the first year that the grant funding has been structured as a competitive program specifically targeting districts with Priority and Focus schools. The Department opened applications in May, and 29 districts applied for grants.

The projects will be implemented in 15 Focus Schools and four Priority Schools. "Priority Schools" are the lowest-performing 5 percent of Title I schools based on proficiency, growth and graduation rates, and also any non-Title I school that meets the same criteria. On the next level are "Focus Schools," which comprise about 10 percent of schools with the overall lowest subgroup performance, a graduation rate below 75 percent, and the widest achievement gaps between different subgroups of students. 

The awards range from approximately $22,000 to over $200,000, depending on the district and number of schools specified in the grant applications.

Improving Achievement in English Language Arts and Mathematics for Students with Disabilities

District County School Award
Cliffside Park Bergen School #6 $75,000
East Orange Essex Patrick Healy Middle School * $21,603
Edison Middlesex John Adams Middle School $52,490
Glassboro Gloucester Glassboro Intermediate School $50,000
Jersey City Hudson Ezra L. Nolan School #40 *
Alexander D. Sullivan School #30
James F. Murray School #38
Lakewood Township Ocean Lakewood High School *
Clifton Ave. Grade School
Lakewood Middle School
Morris School District Morris Sussex Avenue School
Normandy Park School
Old Bridge Township Middlesex Jonas Salk Middle School $78,750
Roselle Borough Union Abraham Clark High School * $72,420
South Orange-Maplewood Essex Maplewood Middle School
South Orange Middle School
West New York Hudson West New York Middle School $52,500
West Orange Essex Edison Middle School $52,500
Wildwood City Cape May Glenwood Ave. Elementary School $50,000

Schools marked with an asterisk are Priority Schools. Those without an asterisk are Focus Schools.