Menendez, Booker Announce Nearly $10M to Turn Around NJ’s Low-Performing Schools

Menendez, Booker Announce Nearly $10M to Turn Around NJ’s Low-Performing Schools

NEWARK, NJ – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker today announced New Jersey has been awarded $9,824,640 from the U.S. Department of Education to help turn around the Garden State’s most chronically underachieving schools by giving educators the resources they need to strive for excellence.

“Education is the key that unlocks a child’s future and gives them the foundation to succeed in life and pursue their dreams,” said Sen. Menendez.  “When federal resources like these are used for improving achievement in underperforming schools, we help to ensure that our education system works for all of New Jersey’s students, regardless of where they live or their economic status.  We owe it to every child and their families to make a quality education the birthright of every New Jerseyan and every American.” 

“Education is critical to forming the foundation that will help a child succeed and allow them to reach their fullest potential,” said Sen. Booker.  “If we want to compete globally, it’s essential that we invest in our schools – especially those schools that are underperforming.  This federal funding will help close the achievement gap in some of the lowest performing schools in New Jersey, and most importantly restore hope of a brighter future for our children.”

The Department of Education’s School Improvement Grant Program provides funds to state educational agencies, who then distribute competitive subgrants to local schools who have demonstrated the greatest need for the funds.  The funds are used to provide the resources needed to raise the achievement levels of lower-performing schools. 

States are also given flexibility to develop their own state-determined intervention model that focuses on whole-school reform and is designed to improve student achievement. In schools that have received funds under this program, up to 80 percent of students are from low income families, 28 percent higher than the average school.

Since 2009, the SIG program has invested over $7 billion to transform more than 1,800 of the country's lowest performing schools.