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A Historical Overview of School Improvement Grants

02-03-2011_10-45-36_47UAExperienced school administrator Michael Kohlhagen of the New York metropolitan area has served as superintendent or assistant superintendent of several school districts during his career. He most recently worked as superintendent of the Wethersfield Public Schools district in Connecticut. Currently, Mr. Kohlhagen focuses on completing his doctor of education degree from Columbia University in the City of New York and helps secure federal School Improvement Grants (SIGs) for school systems.

Awarded by the U.S. Department of Education to state education agencies, SIGs provide critical funding to some of the nation’s lowest performing elementary and secondary schools. Initially established through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, SIGs were reauthorized under the provisions of the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act. The most recent round of SIGs, made available in February 2010, come from approximately $3.5 billion in Title I funding set aside through the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Under the present system, school districts and local educational agencies identify the schools they want to transform most with SIGs to their state education agencies. Local districts and agencies must determine which of the four models (turnaround, restart, transformation, and school closure) they believe will best benefit the school or schools seeking the funding.

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