The Springdale School District received a $25.9 million grant as part of the Race to the Top-District (RTT-D) competition, the U.S. Department of Education announced today.
Springdale was one of five school districts in the U.S. that will share approximately $120 million in funding.
The U.S. Department of Education said the grants will go to support locally developed plans to personalize and improve student learning, directly increase student achievement and educator effectiveness, close achievement gaps, and prepare students for success in college and careers.
The grants will also help teachers tailor their approach to meet their students’ needs, allow them to collaborate in new ways, and provide students with resources that enable them to access a world-class education no matter where they are.
The winners announced today were Clarendon County School District Two (a consortium of four rural districts in South Carolina), the Clarksdale (Miss.) Municipal School District, the Houston (Texas) Independent School District, the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative (a consortium of 18 rural districts) and Springdale.
"This is a grand slam home run for our community and our school district," said Perry Webb, president of the Springdale Chamber of Commerce. "It is a testament to our district leadership that Springdale is one of only five districts in the nation to receive this grant. Twenty-five million is a game changer for our community and our students. More than one half of this grant will be used for personalized instruction to the 21,000 students in our district. That personalized learning, through the use of technology and innovation, will pay dividends to our community for decades to come."
The Education Department said the winners particularly shine a light on the innovative work going on in rural school districts across the country to tailor education for all students and provide school leaders and teachers with key tools that support them in meeting students' needs. The department received more than 200 applications for the grants.
“These winners serve as an example to the rest of the country for how to develop innovative plans to drive education reform and improve student achievement,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a news release. “These diverse, trailblazing districts have a clear vision and track record of success for models of personalized learning that aim for every child to graduate from high school ready for college and careers.”
More information about the grants is available at this link.