Press Release: Maryland Awarded Nearly $6.62 Million In School Improvement Funds

Grants Target Struggling Schools

For Immediate Release                                            Contact: Bill Reinhard, 410.767.0486

Baltimore, MD (March 13, 2014)

The U.S. Department of Education (USDE) today announced a $6.619  million grant to the Maryland State Department of Education to be used to strengthen the achievement of struggling schools.

The grant announced by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan is part of more than $95 million in grants made available to 10 states through the School Improvement Grants (SIG) program.  

“When schools fail, our children and our neighborhood suffer,” Secretary Duncan said.  “Turning around our lowest-performing schools is hard work, but it’s our responsibility, and represents a tremendous opportunity to improve the life changes of children.  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.”

State Superintendent of Schools Lillian M. Lowery said the SIG program has helped raise achievement in schools serving some of Maryland’s most economically disadvantaged communities.

“Maryland is focused on raising achievement in schools throughout the State, and this critical funding will be put into action in some of our most lowest-performing classrooms,” said State Superintendent of Schools Lillian M. Lowery.  “We have had great success in many of our schools over the years, but more work lies ahead.”

The U.S. Department of Education has studied SIG effectiveness and found that many programs initiated by local systems have helped to turn schools on the right path.  For example, the department recently profiled the success of Baltimore City’s Frederick Douglass High School, which has seen measurable progress over the life of its grant.

Maryland’s new SIG grant funds will be competitively distributed to local systems.  School districts will apply to the state for the funds this spring. When a school district applies, it must indicate the methods it will use to improve achievement at each school. 

Six Maryland school systems are eligible to apply: Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Dorchester County, Harford County, and Prince George’s County.

To see Maryland’s application, go to:

For more information on the SIG program, go to:


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