HARRISBURG, Pa., Aug. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera today announced that nine schools across the commonwealth will receive a combined $23.5 million in School Improvement Grant funding.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education awarded these federal grants through a competitive process. Applications were reviewed and scored by a panel of peer reviewers who then made award recommendations.
For a school to be eligible for funding, it must be among the lowest-achieving schools in Pennsylvania that has not made substantial progress on state assessments, or has a graduation rate of less than 60 percent for at least two of the last three years.
As part of the competitive application process, eligible schools must adopt and implement one of four reform models developed by the federal government: Transformation, Turnaround, Restart, and School Closure.
If a school selects the Transformation Model, teachers and principals must be assessed using a rigorous, transparent and equitable evaluation system, such as Pennsylvania's new teacher and principal evaluation program, or a more rigorous system. Staff must also participate in high-quality professional development and be involved in curriculum design and development.
The Turnaround Model involves the "turn around" of schools through the implementation of nine broad strategies, including changing the school leadership, replacing at least 50 percent of the staff, requiring high-quality professional development, and the adoption of new governance.
The Restart Model enables a school to choose between re-opening a school as a charter school or allowing an education management organization to take its operations.
The School Closure Model allows a school to transfer students out of the low-performing school and into higher-achieving schools within the district's boundaries.
The School Improvement Grants program has awarded funding to schools since the 2009-10 school year. Last year, $21 million in grants was distributed to nine Pennsylvania schools.
Below is the list of grantees, the reform model that will be implemented and the award amount for the 2015-16 school year:
Pittsburgh Brashear High School, Pittsburgh School District, Allegheny County
Pittsburgh Faison K-5, Pittsburgh School District, Allegheny County
Pittsburgh King PreK-8, Pittsburgh School District, Allegheny County
Rowland Academy, Harrisburg City School District, Dauphin County
Camp Curtin Academy, Harrisburg City School District, Dauphin County
Pittsburgh Westinghouse Academy 6-12, Pittsburgh School District, Allegheny County
Charles Kelly Elementary School, Upper Darby School District, Delaware County
Mastery Charter School, Hardy Williams Campus, Philadelphia County
Pittsburgh Perry High School, Pittsburgh School District, Allegheny County
MEDIA CONTACT: Nicole Reigelman, 717-783-9802
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Education