Missouri is one of seven states who will be given a total of more than $43 million through the School Improvement Grants program.

The money is part of an effort to turn around the persistently lowest-achieving schools in each state. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said, “we owe it to our chidren, their famlies, and the broader community.”

This state is slated to get more than $7.5 million. The other recipients are Arkanas, Kentucky, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. State Educational Agencies will receive the funds, and then make competitive subgrants to school districts that demonstrate the greatest need.

Early findings about this program show many SIG grant recipients are improving, and some of the greatest gains have been in small towns and rural communities.

Press Release from the U.S. Department of Education

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced that seven states will receive over $43.4 million to continue efforts to turn around their persistently lowest-achieving schools through the Department’s School Improvement Grants (SIG) program. Two of the states — Arkansas and Kentucky – will receive awards to run a new competition for previously unfunded schools; and five states will receive continuation funds for the third year of implementing a SIG model. These states are Missouri, North Carolina; Rhode Island; Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

“When schools fail, our children and neighborhoods suffer,” Duncan said. “Turning around our lowest-performing schools is hard work but it’s our responsibility. We owe it to our children, their families and the broader community. These School Improvement Grants are helping some of the lowest-achieving schools provide a better education for students who need it the most.”

School Improvement Grants are awarded to State Educational Agencies (SEAs) that then make competitive subgrants to school districts that demonstrate the greatest need for the funds and the strongest commitment to provide adequate resources to substantially raise student achievement in their lowest-performing schools.

Under the Obama Administration, the SIG program has invested up to $2 million per school at more than 1,500 of the country’s lowest-performing schools. Early findings show positive momentum and progress in many SIG schools. Findings also show that many schools receiving SIG grants are improving, and some of the greatest gains have been in small towns and rural communities.

States announced today and their grant amounts are:

ARKANSAS $5,015,453
KENTUCKY $7,463,106
MISSOURI $7,531,890
NORTH CAROLINA $13,610,781
RHODE ISLAND $1,611,540
TENNESSEE $9,214,423
WISCONSIN  $7,250,164