LANSING, Mich. - About 108 Michigan public schools are eligible for up to $2 million each in school improvement grants based on their low academic performance, according to a report in the Detroit Free Press.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan named the schools Monday, including 47 within Detroit Public Schools, six in Grand Rapids Public Schools, four in Saginaw Public Schools and 13 public charter schools, among others, the Free Press reported.

All of them are Title I schools, indicating low-income student populations. To qualify for the federally funded grants, the schools must file an improvement plan by Aug. 16, the Free Press reported.

The grant requires schools to either: replace the principal and half the staff; close the school and reopen under different management; close the school and assign students to other schools, or "transform curriculum and leadership" to become more effective, according to the Free Press.

Some of the schools also may be placed on Michigan's own low- performance list, which would require them to report to a school reform officer, the Free Press reported.

"Unfortunately, that's not a great list to be on, public- relations-wise," Romulus Community Schools Superintendent Carl Weiss told the Free Press, referring to the federal grant list.

"We're looking forward to using the grant to improve."

SOURCE:
Detroit Free Press, "Low-performing schools in Michigan to get grants," June 15, 2010

FURTHER READING:
Michigan Education Report, "Audit: Extra high school money had little effect," May 10, 2010

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