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May 6, 2015

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Nevada getting $3.8 million to aid struggling schools

By the numbers

Here’s a look at School Improvement Grant funding in Nevada (Note: These are three-year grants):

First round (2010-11) — Nevada received $22.4 million, of which the Clark County School District received $5.3 million. The money went to Kit Carson Elementary School and Rancho High School.

Second round (2011-12) — Nevada received $4.5 million but carried over $4.9 in funding from the first round. Clark County received $8.7 million to put the “turnaround model” in place at Chaparral, Mojave and Western high schools and at Hancock Elementary School.

Third round (2012-13) — Nevada received $3.5 million. Clark County used its share to begin transforming Canyon Springs High School.

Fourth round (2013-14) — Nevada received $3.8 million. The application process for the next batch of turnaround schools will begin soon.

Nevada is receiving $3.8 million in federal grant money to implement “turnaround” efforts at more low-performing schools, the U.S. Education Department announced Monday.

The Silver State is one of 13 states awarded School Improvement Grant funding for next school year. However, only six of those states — including Nevada — are receiving money for new “turnaround” schools.

The remaining states are were given federal funds to continue existing “turnaround” programs.

“When schools fail, our children and our neighborhoods suffer,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a statement. “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. These School Improvement Grants are helping some of the lowest-achieving schools provide a better education for students who need it the most.”

Nevada — which has the lowest graduation rate among states nationally — received the least money of the six states receiving new “turnaround” funds. Illinois received the most money ($22 million), followed by Georgia ($17.2 million) and North Carolina ($14.3 million).

Seven states received continuation awards between $1.4 million (Delaware) and $26.8 million (Florida).

The School Improvement Grant program is one of President Barack Obama’s cornerstone education initiatives, representing one of the largest investments in public education in the nation’s history.

Since 2009, the federal government has infused more than $4.6 billion into the School Improvement Grant program, commonly known as the school “turnaround” initiative. To receive the funding, schools must be considered among the bottom 5 percent of a district’s schools.

More than 1,300 of the country’s lowest-performing schools received up to $2 million each to turn around lagging student achievement by overhauling school staff and programming.

In total, Nevada has received $33.9 million in such funding since 2009 to turn around more than a dozen schools in Las Vegas, Reno and Carson City.

Early findings show some improvement, particularly in small towns and rural communities. Results have been mixed in large urban school districts across the country.

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  1. Really, our schools are nothing but baby sitting services. I have a girlfriend who is a substitute teacher who says they have a parent or parents drop off kids in their pajamas in the morning. They tried to stop it by calling their homes, but of course, nobody was home. Babies making babies. It's easy to make 'em, a lot harder to raise 'em. Break up the school district, so the responsible parents in Henderson don't have put up with the boobs in LV and NLV.

  2. You aren't providing anything to these schools unless each and everyone of these students has a supportive, nurturing family environment. It's begins and ends there. You can take CCSD teachers and put them in a Connecticut school system and I guarantee the graduation rate remains the same, near 100%.

    It's not the teachers. It's not the teachers. It's not the teachers. Put the blame where it belongs for 50% drop-out the parents front door.

  3. I hope that this money is wisely spent on improving trailer park schools like the one highlighted in this article that the Sun ran about Rex Bell Elementary School....

    Instead of over inflated salaries of Superintendants who make around 500k a year. If money is really the problem at the route of our school system it's time to balance the budget and take a look at the top 5 or 10 that make the most money, if we reduce and redistribute the income, we wont have to beg for federal money.

    The real challenge of course is to get students to want to be where they are and perform.

  4. I'm starting to think that the schools never really improve by design, because if they ever did, they could no longer scream for more funding.

  5. "When schools fail, our children and our neighborhoods suffer," U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a statement."
    This should read "When parents fail, our children and our neighborhoods suffer"

  6. Yes. More money does not necessarily equate to student achievement, however starving schools will not either.

    For those of you who are so vocal in criticizing schools when your name does not appear with your comments, why don't you stand up and be counted among those who want change. Ask for accountability. Demand accountability from those in-charge of money and how it is being spent, and from those who institute policies. Attend meetings and demand answers!

    It is easy to be 'smart' when you know you are safe in your own world. What is hard is getting involved.

  7. Maybe Guthrie resigned because he was embarassed to admit that the "reformer" mantra of "schools don't need any more money" only works if they have enough money to begin with. While the additional funds are welcome all that they will be used for is to shuffle deck chairs....fancier facilities and teacher bonuses for those willing to transfer in, while something else will be neglected because overall resources will continue to decline. You cannot run your home or your business using one-time infusions of cash for basic fixed's an unsustainable model. Many commenters rail that public education in the US is a failure. It's not. Among that dismal 61% grad rate in CCSD are many truly brilliant students who have not been gifted with stellar intelligence but have achieved distinction with dedication and hard work. They will go on to post-seconbdary learning and work and will continue to achieve. Perhaps it is time to recognize that our quest for universal public education will never bring the underachievers up to par....the Bell curve at work....and that no amount of money will change that. Look at data from Western HS. A lot of money for minimal improvement.

  8. WRONG way to go. We should reward high performing schools and SHUT DOWN down performing schools. STOP rewarding FAILURE.

  9. We're being bankrupted by illegal students and depriving our own kids of standard K-12 because CCSD administration focuses on teacher compensation. Let's FOCUS ON AMERICAN STUDENTS. CCSD acting super says there are close to 60,000 ELL students AND another 60,000 who have moved out of ELL to "regular" student status. So we have MORE THAN A THIRD of students in CCSD are ILLEGALS. And that's not even counting the kids who invaded while young enough to learn English before school.

  10. @Roslenda - Your ignorance shows yet again. All ELL students are illegals?

    How many of those "illegal" kids should be deprived of an education because of the choices their parents made?

    Nowhere close to 1/3 of the students in the CCSD are illegals. Cite your source, or stick to facts... and no, ELL students are not all illegals.

    I think you should read what @TomD has to say... it's spot on.

  11. ASadTeacher (Nancy Agustin) - to have a user name on this site you have to register your account with the Sun, first online and then over the phone. The sun has my first and last name, cell phone number, and a valid e-mail address on file in order for me to have this username on this website, and I was given the option of keeping my First and Last name private which opted to do.

    Some people have reasons to not give their full names. Try to understand that in a world where privacy is almost nonexistent. Thanks

  12. "You can't fix stupid." - Ron White

    Let's cut our losses, and concentrate on the better students instead. I think it's a very noble idea for every child to have a quality education, but in reality we know that alot of these kids are barely going to make it to high school.

    How about alternative form of "real life" education instead? Do vocational schools still even exist??? I guess a modern education is based on everybody becoming a doctor, lawyer, or astronaut now.

  13. A PARENT is a child's first and lifelong teacher.

    The $3.8 million should be spent on getting the parents involved and educated on how to support their child(ren) at school and socially outside of school (as hobbies: athletics, sports, crafts, music, art, acting, church activities, etc.).

    Money has been routinely thrown at education, where ADMINISTRATORS decide how and where to spend it (NOT those in the trenches-the teachers or parents)! So let's break that cycle and try something new, by supporting parents, teachers, and our students by addressing their needs! We are only as strong as our weakest link, folks! Take care of the needs of those who are weak and in need of support, it will be money well spent, and yield a fabulous return on investment! Just try it!!!!

    Commenter TomD1228 said it well, with "You aren't providing anything to these schools unless each and everyone of these students has a supportive, nurturing family environment. It's begins and ends there. You can take CCSD teachers and put them in a Connecticut school system and I guarantee the graduation rate remains the same, near 100%."

    Tom continues, "It's not the teachers. It's not the teachers. It's not the teachers. Put the blame where it belongs for 50% drop-out the parents front door."

    Also to the point, Max Verzosa chipped in with, ""You can't fix stupid." - Ron White". Might I add, that "There's NO law against being stupid or crazy"!

    Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting DIFFERENT results is the definition of being CRAZY, and THAT has been going on for quite a while here, you think?

    Let's think outside the box and try something new, and we might just be pleasantly surprised with the results!

    Blessings and Peace,

  14. Oh my! Just realized I referenced Gerald as "MAX"! Please accept my apologies. Currently, hints of "vocation" or "trade" schools, are in the form of "Tech Schools" or Academies" at what we currently term as "Magnet Schools". Maybe this helps clarify it a bit. These programs also support college track students as well, and are in high demand. Hope it helps.

    Star :)