The Georgia Department of Education is awarding $3.6 million in Rural Resource Grants to assist nine rural school districts in their school improvement efforts.
These grants are made possible through federal Title I, Part A, 1003 funds and are being awarded to nine districts with schools that qualify for Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) or Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI). They specifically target rural districts, which often have limited funding to provide the resources educators and students need to be successful.
“At the Georgia Department of Education, we are committed to providing the resources and tools all schools need to improve,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “We know rural schools often face unique resource gaps that make it difficult to provide the strongest possible educational experience for students. Through our Rural Resource Grants, we are leveraging federal funds to provide additional resources to impact the classroom in rural school districts.”
All CSI and TSI schools are served by GaDOE’s Office of School Improvement and receive federal school improvement funding. The Rural Resource Grant provides additional one-time funds to help federally identified schools serving rural areas focus their efforts to increase student achievement, addressing coherent instruction, effective leadership, supportive learning environment and professional capacity. All rural districts with CSI and/or TSI schools were eligible to apply, and the funds were awarded based on a competitive grant process.
“Rural schools constitute a significant proportion of Georgia’s schools and school districts,” said Dr. Stephanie Johnson, GaDOE’s Deputy Superintendent for School Improvement. “Our goal is to ensure all students have equal access to a high quality education. Therefore, it is imperative that the needs of students attending schools in rural school districts are taken into account. The Rural Resource Grant provides an economically feasible way to accomplish school improvement goals in low-resource rural areas. Enhancing supports in rural schools to build the teacher and principal workforce, provide instructional resources (including technology) that prepare children to learn, extend learning opportunities beyond the school day, and to strengthen wraparound support are but a few areas requested from districts that applied for the grant.”
Under ESSA, states are required to identify schools in need of additional support. GaDOE is committed to a school improvement process that gives all districts the support they need, and oversees a proactive, tiered and tailored system of supports with the Whole Child at the center. Rather than a siloed process, the entire agency works together to leverage resources and expertise to support all schools.