Federal program gives $3.6 million to Kansas for school improvement

Kansas will get another $3.6 million to help turn around persistently low-performing schools, federal education officials said.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced Monday that seven states, including Kansas, will receive new awards from the School Improvement Grants program. The grants go to states’ education departments, which then make competitive subgrants to school districts that demonstrate the greatest need for the funds.

Since 2010 two Wichita schools, Curtis Middle School and Pleasant Valley Middle School, have received funds through the program.

Curtis recently completed a three-year, $6 million grant that included a partnership with America’s Choice, a for-profit school reform program. Pleasant Valley has used school improvement grant funds to increase learning time, including holding classes and other activities during summer break.