Board adds 15 schools to troubled school program

COLUMBIA, SC (AP) - Fifteen South Carolina schools were added to a program for schools that face the possibility of state takeover due to their lack of academic progress.

The state Board of Education added 15 schools Thursday to the Palmetto Priority program, and released 20 after they showed improvement.

Former Superintendent Jim Rex created the initiative in 2007 for schools that repeatedly miss student learning goals under the state's education accountability law. That law gives state takeover as an option for schools that consistently receive "at-risk" state report card ratings.

The program includes extra assistance from the state and collaboration with colleges.

The 15 added schools are in 10 counties.

About 97% of students in the newly identified schools live in poverty. The schools join 17 others in the project.

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