Bennet, Udall Welcome $5.2 Million to Help Turn Around Failing Colorado Schools

Colorado Secured Funds from U.S. Department of Education School Improvement Grants Program

Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall welcomed today's announcement from the U.S. Department of Education that Colorado won a $5.2 million competitive grant to help turn around low-achieving schools. Colorado, which received the funds through the School Improvement Grants program, is one of 10 states awarded during this latest round of grants.

“Right now, children living in poverty face approximately a 9 in 100 chance of graduating from a four-year college – a clear sign that our system of public schools is failing too many students,” Bennet said. “Schools in Colorado are committed to setting a high bar for our kids and teachers, and we can provide support to help them succeed. This grant will help ensure that more schools in Colorado are providing a quality education to our kids.”

“Failing schools not only set our children back, but they also ultimately threaten to undermine Colorado's economy by not adequately preparing the next generation of innovators, leaders and workers,” Udall said. “These competitive grant funds will help turn around underfunded schools and ensure that Colorado is well positioned to win the global economic race.”

“Colorado is excited to receive funding for another cohort of school improvement grants,” Keith Owen, deputy commissioner of education, said. “These grants, when aligned with Colorado’s system of accountability and support, have resulted in significant gains in achievement in the schools targeted.”

School Improvement Grants are awarded to State Educational Agencies (SEAs) that then make competitive subgrants to those local educational agencies (LEAs) that demonstrate the greatest need for the funds and the strongest commitment to use them to provide the resources required to substantially raise student achievement in their lowest-performing schools.

Last June, Bennet joined several of his colleagues in urging the President to continue funding for initiatives like School Improvement Grants that support reforms to improve the quality of education system.