US Department of Education gives $17.8 million to low preforming Michigan schools

(WXYZ) - U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan says Michigan will receive $17.8 million to help fund low achieving schools with the goal of improving test scores and improving Michigan's education statistics.

Michigan, along with Rhode Island and Virginia, are among the states to receive continuation awards for the third year of implementing a School Improvement Grant program model.

Studies indicate that schools that receive SIG funding are improving. Some the greatest gains have been in small towns and rural communities, according to the US Department of Education.

"These School Improvement Grants (SIG) are helping some of the lowest-achieving schools provide a better education for students who need it the most," said Duncan.

So far, the Department of Education says the Obama administration has invested $2 million in more than 1,300 low-performing schools.

However, the competition for increased funding is on the rise.

The Department of Education recently awarded SIG funding to the District of Columbia, Maine and Missouri to run new competitions for previously unfunded schools.

In addition, the department states it realizes the importance of the funding and what it means to children and the community.

"When schools fail, our children and our 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.

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