Professional Educators

Disappointment, Confusion as Schools Miss Out on SIG Funds

Critics of the federal School Improvement Grants process have long argued that many schools desperately in need of additional support will not receive a dime. There will be a culture of winners and losers — and as the SIG process rolls forward, the schools on the losing end are unsure how to proceed.
As part of the SIG application process, priority schools from throughout the country crafted plans to institute reforms such as firing half their staffs, lengthening the school day or year, and adding professional development and other instructional supports.
But what happens to those best-laid plans when schools find out they won’t receive any SIG funding?
That’s the question being asked by California blogger Corey G. Johnson, whose recent post looks at the challenges faced by many large, urban, lower-performing California schools that may find themselves shut out of the SIG process.
Johnson reports on an Aug. 10 letter sent by the State of California to the U.S. Department of Education, asking for a waiver on the requirement that California set aside for next year 25 percent of its $415 million SIG allotment.

The waiver, state officials argue, would allow schools that were shut out of SIG funding in Los Angeles Unified, Oakland Unified, Sacramento City Unified and Compton to get a slice of the money so they can institute planned reforms.

The problem of California schools left behind by the SIG process was also covered by San Francisco’s ABC affiliate, which points out that one school, Lincoln Elementary in West Contra Costa, may now have to close because its SIG application was not approved by the state.
What would it take to get you to work at a SIG school that just fired half its staff? Join the discussion happening now on the NEA Priority Schools Campaign Facebook page.



View more articles in: California or Professional Educators

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar!


Classroom Superheroes

Educators in priority schools are rising to a superhero challenge every single day. Nominate educators in your community and support others at

Visit the site »

PSC Superhero Keith G. Pemberton

Keith G. Pemberton is a social worker at Oak Hill Elementary School in High Point, N.C., where he has built a strong and steady pipeline for parental involvement, specifically among fathers and male mentors. Check out his Classroom Superhero profile and leave some words of encouragement.

Visit the site »