Title I School Improvement Grants Offer Another Funding Source for Low-Performing Schools

On the heels of previewing the Investing in Innovation Fund, Secretary Duncan has announced the draft requirements for the Title I School Improvement Grants. With over $3.5 billion from 2009 appropriations and ARRA funding, the grants offer state education agencies another resource for helping turnaround the lowest performing schools.

States must identify three tiers of schools:

  • Tier I – The lowest-achieving five percent of Title I schools
  • Tier II – Equally low-achieving secondary schools that are eligible for, but do not receive, Title I funds.
  • Tier III – The remaining Title I schools in improvement, corrective action or restructuring that are not Tier I schools in the state

Districts must then choose from one of four models to improve the school.

  • Turnaround Model – This would include among other actions, replacing the principal and at least 50 percent of the school’s staff, adopting a new governance structure and implementing a new or revised instructional program.
  • Restart Model – School districts would close failing schools and reopen them under the management of a charter school operator, a charter management organization or an educational management organization selected through a rigorous review process. A restart school would be required to admit, within the grades it serves, any former student who wishes to attend.
  • School Closure – The district would close a failing school and enroll the students who attended that school in other high-achieving schools in the district.
  • Transformational Model – Districts would address four specific areas: 1) developing teacher and school leader effectiveness, which includes replacing the principal who led the school prior to commencement of the transformational model, 2) implementing comprehensive instructional reform strategies, 3) extending learning and teacher planning time and creating community-oriented schools, and 4) providing operating flexibility and sustained support.

Similar to the Investing in Innovation Fund, sustainability is a key element to this grant program. According to the official press release, “The secretary proposes to require that states allocate to each district the maximum per-school amount permitted under ESEA for each Tier I school where one of the four interventions is approved for implementation. The secretary also would waive the period of availability of school improvement grants beyond Sept. 30, 2011, to make funds available to school districts for three years.”

Comments on the proposed requirements are due by  September 25, 2009.

Department of Education Press Release

Title I School Improvement Grants Fact Sheet

Example  Success Stories

Federal Register Notice of Proposed School Improvement Grants Requirements

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1 Response to “Title I School Improvement Grants Offer Another Funding Source for Low-Performing Schools”


  1. 1 Dr. Jamie McCracken August 31, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    We have a new product that will help lower achieving students to be motivated to learn. We have tested it. It’s called BrainSavvy and it’s a simple game that turns learning (knowing answers) into a team competition. It’s only $29 and a teacher only needs one per classroom.

    It’s an amazing tool for differentiating instruction and offering an opportunity for creative teaching and learning. Students are motivated!!! We guarantee it.

    We are an Oklahoma company, we want to get BrainSavvy into the schools that need help. Where can we start?

    Watch our 3 minute movie which explains how and why it works. http://www.brainsavvy.com/movies.
    Thank you.
    Dr. Jamie McCracken
    President
    BrainSavvy Game Company, LLC
    918-865-4637


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