Troubled SC schools get $50M federal grant

SOUTH CAROLINA (WMBF) - More than $50 million will be made available to schools across the Palmetto State to help poorly performing schools achieve higher education goals.

The $50.8 million was made available to the state by the U.S. Department of Education's School Improvement Grants program. The funds are a part of $3.5 billion that will be made available to states this spring from money set aside in the 2009 budget and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

"When a school continues to perform in the bottom five percent of the state and isn't showing signs of growth or has graduation rates below 60 percent, something dramatic needs to be done," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "Turning around our worst performing schools is difficult for everyone but it is critical that we show the courage to do the right thing by kids."

The funds flowing into South Carolina will be divided by a formula to persistently lowest achieving schools or Tier III schools. The schools receiving the money are institutions that have failed to meet annual yearly progress for two years.

Once schools receive SIG funds, they will be able to begin to spend them immediately to turn around schools this fall.

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