States are receiving $3.5 billion in school-improvement grants

The Education Department is distributing $3.5 billion in Title I School Improvement Grants to states, giving them six months to launch turnarounds of their lowest-performing schools. All states are expected to receive some of the funds, which come with strict requirements and deadlines for adopting one of four federally approved reform strategies: replacing 50% or more of a school's staff, reopening a school as a charter, closing the school or overhauling the school's curriculum and teaching methods.

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