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3 Arkansas Schools Receive $3.1 Million in Federal Grants

Three Arkansas schools will receive federal School Improvement Grants worth about $3.1 million for the 2015-16 academic year, the Arkansas Department of Education announced July 1.

Baseline Elementary School in the Little Rock School District will receive more than $1.6 million, Bellepoint Alternative Center in the Fort Smith School District will receive more than $1 million and Osceola High School in the Osceola School District will receive more than $450,000.

These funds are renewable for up to five years pending federal allocations.

“These schools will greatly benefit from the additional funds,” Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key said in a news release. “The funds will allow schools to think outside the box and provide additional resources to help students achieve academic success.”

In the application process, the school districts were required to show how they would implement school improvement models approved by the federal government. Models include making improvements through curriculum reform, professional development and extended learning time.

Recipients can use the funds for before and after school instructional planning, planning for extended school days, and additional support staff and interventions to help reduce suspensions and dropouts. Funds also can be used for technology initiatives, weekend tutoring programs, to hire firms that specialize in improving schools and to partner with higher education to highlight science and math careers.

Arkansas has received more than $60 million in SIG funds since the program was redesigned in 2009.

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