Press Release: Applications Now Available for $3.5 Billion in Title I School Improvement Grants to Turn Around Nation’s Lowest Achieving Public Schools

Today, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the final requirements for $3.5 billion in Title I School Improvement grants to turn around the nation’s lowest performing schools. The applications are now available and are due into the Department of Education by Feb. 8, 2010.

These funds are made available to states by formula and competed for by school districts.  As they compete for the funds, school districts (LEAs) must identify the schools they want to transform, and then determine which of the four following models is most appropriate.  If a school has begun implementation of one of these four models or components of one of these models within the last two years, it may apply to use SIG funds to continue to implement the full model.

Turnaround model: Replace the principal and rehire no more than 50 percent of the staff and grant the principal sufficient operational flexibility (including in staffing, calendars/time, and budgeting) to implement fully a comprehensive approach to substantially improve student outcomes.
Restart model: Convert a school or close and reopen it under a charter school operator, a charter management organization, or an education management organization that has been selected through a rigorous review process.
School closure: Close a school and enroll the students who attended that school in other schools in the LEA that are higher achieving.
Transformation model: Implement each of the following strategies: (1) replace the principal and take steps to increase teacher and school leader effectiveness; (2) institute comprehensive instructional reforms; (3) increase learning time and create community-oriented schools; and (4) provide operational flexibility and sustained support.

The full list of requirements and final application can be found at: