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News Release - Funds Available for Lowest-Performing Schools

June 20, 2011

News Release

Office of School and District Improvement Announces $7.5 Million For Lowest-Performing Schools

The Office of School and District Improvement today announced the availability of $7.5 million in federal funds to increase academic achievement in chronically low-performing schools. The opportunity is open to school districts or local education agencies. Proposals are due Aug. 17.

The intent of this grant is to provide funding for districts to partner with the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) in the implementation of a school intervention strategy.

“This is a team effort,” said Daphne Pereles, director of the office of school and district improvement. “CDE will work collaboratively with local districts to develop detailed performance goals and specific timelines for improvement in these schools. We share in the urgency and we share in the delivery of results. We will work closely with these schools to develop plans that will make a meaningful difference in performance for all students.”

The funds are intended to be used by schools to support the services of an external school turnaround provider. Districts will apply for the grant on behalf of the lowest-performing 5 percent of schools in the state, as measured by state assessments and other criteria.

A school district or local education agency (such as a board of cooperative educational services) may request up to $2 million per year over the three-year grant period for each qualifying school.

Second- and third-year funding will be contingent upon CDE approval.

The allocations will be based on the intervention model chosen and CDE guidelines.

Schools will be prioritized in the following order:

  1. Tier I sites;
  2. Tier II sites within a district that has both Tier I and Tier II sites;
  3. Tier II sites that are equally low performing; and
  4. Tier III sites.

Tier I: Any Title I school in improvement, corrective action, or restructuring that:

  • Is among the lowest-achieving five percent of Title I schools in improvement, corrective action, or restructuring or the lowest-achieving five Title I schools in improvement, corrective action, or restructuring in the state, which ever number of schools is greater; or
  • Is a high school that has had a graduation rate as defined in 34 C.F.R. § 200.19(b) that is less than 60 percent over a number of years; and

Tier II: Any secondary school that is eligible for, but does not receive, Title I funds that:

  • Is among the lowest-achieving five percent of secondary schools or the lowest-achieving five secondary schools in the state that are eligible for, but do not receive, Title I funds, whichever number is greater; or
  • Is a high school that has had a graduation rate as defined in 34 C.R.F. § 200.199b) that is less than 60 percent over a number of years. (See Attachment A for listing of eligible schools).

Tier III: All other Title I schools on Improvement.

CDE does not anticipate that it will have sufficient funding to fund schools beyond Tier I. Up to nine individual schools are expected to receive a grant.

For application and grant materials, including a list of eligible schools, visit:

http://www.cde.state.co.us/turnaround/cde_turnaroundplan_home.htm

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