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July 26, 2013
For More Information Contact:

JP O’Hare or Jeanne Beattie

(518) 474-1201


State Education Department Announces $126 Million in SIG Funding for 7 Districts to Support Turnaround and Transformation Efforts in 34 Schools

State Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr. today announced that seven school districts will receive more than $126 million in federal School Improvement Grant (SIG) awards to support turnaround and transformation efforts in thirty-four schools. King said that New York City will receive $74.2 million; the Buffalo City School District will receive nearly $13.1 million; the Rochester City School District will receive $22.5 million; the Utica City School District will receive $4 million; the Amsterdam City School District will receive nearly $3.9 million; the Schenectady City School District will receive $4.5 million; and the Albany City School District will receive $4.3 million. The school districts will use the grants to engage in dramatic and transformative whole-school change in their lowest performing schools.

"SIG grants are an important part of the Board of Regents Reform Agenda," New York State Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch said. "Too many students are struggling in low-performing schools, denied a realistic chance at success. SIG awards are targeted to help our most at-risk students so they will be prepared to graduate college and career ready. These grants are focused on improving chronically underperforming schools and raising achievement."

"Many English language learners, students with disabilities, and low-income students are in schools that need to change," King said. "SIG grants can help give those students the opportunity to attend schools that are changing what's happening in the classroom. Our goal is to prepare all students to graduate college and career ready. SIG grants are an important step toward giving students in struggling schools more opportunities to succeed."

SIG awards are targeted to support the implementation of a whole-school change model in Priority Schools (Priority schools are among the lowest performing schools in the state based on combined ELA and math performance). To receive funding, districts with identified schools must implement one of the following prescribed intervention models:

  • Turnaround Model: Replace the principal and at least half the staff as part of the process of phasing out and replacing the school with a new school(s) or completely redesigning the school.
  • Restart Model: Convert the school to a charter school, replace the school with a new charter school that will serve the students who would have attended the public school, or contract with an Educational Partner Organization (EPO), such as a local Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), institution of higher education, or other non-profit partner organization as identified in Education Law 211-e, to govern and manage the Priority School and its implementation of the SIG plan.
  • Transformation Model: Requires replacement of the principal, but without the requirement to replace at least half the staff. Rather, the implementation of approved Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) plans would serve as the basis for rewarding effective teachers and removing ineffective teachers after ample professional development opportunities.
  • School Closure: Close the school and enroll the students in higher achieving schools in the district.

For example, the Rochester City School District will extend learning time in each of its Transformation Schools. The Albany City School District will adopt a full service neighborhood school model with after-school programming for students and families at the Philip J. Schuyler Achievement Academy. New York City will provide job-embedded, authentic professional development for teachers as well as social service, extracurricular arts and sports enrichment programs through partnerships at PS 123 Mahalia Jackson.

Of the forty-one eligible applications received, thirty-four schools are approved to receive SIG awards for the September 1, 2013 to August 31, 2016 project period. This second round of the 2013 SIG RFP competition resulted in SIG awards totaling $126,516,610. The RFP is posted at A summary of the district awards is attached. The application process will be forwarded to the Office of the State Comptroller for review and approval.

SIG aligns with the New York's Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) waiver application that the U.S. Department of Education approved on May 29, 2012 (see





New York City $3,067,326 The Hunts Point School Transformation
$4,099,036 PS 123 Mahalia Jackson Transformation
$3,268,453 Cypress Hill Collegiate Preparatory School Transformation
$1,377,285 PS 15 Roberto Clemente Transformation
$4,341,034 Juan Morel Campos Secondary School Transformation
$4,125,432 JHS 291 Roland Hayes Transformation
$3,626,526 PS 107 Transformation
$2,915,583 School for Democracy and Leadership Transformation
$3,391,425 Alfred E. Smith Career Tech High School Transformation
$2,400,178 East Flatbush Community Research School Transformation
$2,424,340 The Heritage School Transformation
$3,460,930 PS 277 Transformation
$3,653,405 Bronx High School of the Visual Arts Transformation
$3,027,860 Marta Valle Secondary School Transformation
$4,335,726 DeWitt Clinton High School Transformation
$4,341,030 Martin Van Buren H.S. Transformation
$4,240,135 JHS 302 Rafael Cordero Turnaround
(Phase-Out JHS 302 ; Phase-In Vista Academy and Liberty Avenue Middle School)
$2,804,929 PS 50 Clara Barton Turnaround
(Phase-Out PS 50; Phase-In Fairmont Neighborhood Schools)
$2,097,360 Jonathan Levin High School for Media and Communications Turnaround
(Phase-Out Jonathan Levin; Phase-In New Directions Secondary School)
$4,309,280 PS 64 Pura Belpre Turnaround
(Phase-Out PS 64; Phase-In Walton Avenue School & Lucero Elementary School)
$3,178,356 MS 142 John Philip Sousa Turnaround
(Phase-Out MS 142; Phase-In Bronx Alliance Middle School)
$3,733,837 Performance School Turnaround
(Phase-Out Performance School; Phase-In Concourse Village Elementary School)
Buffalo $4,493,709 School #95 Waterfront Transformation
$4,285,756 School #66 North Park Transformation
$4,299,888 School #76 Herman Badillo Bilingual Academy Transformation
Rochester $4,500,000 Joseph C. Wilson Magnet High School Transformation
$4,500,000 School #45 Mary McLeod Bethune Transformation
$4,500,000 Northwest College Prep High School Transformation
$4,500,000 School #3 Nathaniel Rochester Transformation
$4,500,000 James Monroe High School Transformation
Utica $4,009,452 Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary Transformation
Amsterdam $3,891,406 William B. Tecler Arts in Education Transformation
Schenectady $4,500,000 Hamilton Elementary Transformation
Albany $4,316,933 Philip J. Schuyler Achievement Academy Transformation