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ERIC Number: ED516656
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Feb
Pages: 26
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 14
Changing Tires En Route: Michigan Rolls out Millions in School Improvement Grants
Scott, Caitlin
Center on Education Policy
A recent massive infusion of federal funding marked a dramatic shift in the federal approach to helping low-performing schools. As part of the broad array of economic stimulus efforts included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), the U.S. Congress appropriated an extra $3 billion for school improvement grants (SIGs) to help reform persistently low-achieving schools. When added to the $546 million that had already been appropriated for school improvement grants for fiscal year 2009, the ARRA appropriation brings the total funding for these grants to more than $3.5 billion, available for use through September 30, 2013. This report by the Center on Education Policy (CEP) takes an early look at the roll-out of the ARRA SIG funding in Michigan, a state that has been the subject of CEP research on school improvement since 2004. Michigan is a useful site for tracking implementation of ARRA SIGs because the state legislature has passed new state laws incorporating some of the ARRA SIG provisions. Data for this report were collected by interviewing state and local decision makers in Michigan and reviewing ARRA SIG applications and other state and school documents. CEP also conducted case studies of local implementation of ARRA SIGs by interviewing school staff and reviewing documents in three Michigan schools--Lincoln High School in the Van Dyke Public Schools, Phoenix Multi-Cultural Academy in the Detroit Public Schools, and Romulus Middle School in the Romulus Community Schools. Several key findings emerged from this analysis: (1) For school years 2010-11 through 2012-13, a small number of schools will receive far more federal funding for school improvement than ever before; (2) Michigan's "persistently lowest-achieving" schools are different from those in the later stages of NCLB school improvement; (3) Among Michigan's ARRA SIG grantees, the transformation model of school improvement was by far the most popular of the four federally endorsed improvement models; (4) State technical assistance to ARRA SIG schools adds new elements and closer monitoring to the supports the state already provides to schools in NCLB improvement; and (5) Staff at the three case study schools appreciated the additional funding and focus on major improvements that accompanied ARRA SIGs but were challenged by the rapid application and implementation process. Michigan's Evaluation of Local ARRA SIG Applications and Ongoing Implementation Goals is appended. (Contains 4 tables, 2 figures, 2 boxes and 5 footnotes.) [This paper was written with assistance from Kenne Dibner.]
Center on Education Policy. 1001 Connecticut Avenue NW Suite 522, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-822-8065; Fax: 202-822-6008; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Grade 6; Grade 7; Grade 8; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: George Gund Foundation; Phi Delta Kappa International
Authoring Institution: Center on Education Policy
Identifiers - Location: Michigan
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009; No Child Left Behind Act 2001