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?
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.