Select Alabama elementary schools to receive additional state funding

Published: Sep. 12, 2022 at 7:57 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Millions of dollars are headed to select Alabama classrooms. It’s part of a new initiative to improve schools. $15 million will be allocated to certain elementary schools.

During the 2022 State of the State address, Gov. Kay Ivey proposed a grade-specific education improvement project.

“I am proposing resources to support grants for failing elementary schools that are not one size fits all, but rather are customized to the particular needs of each of those struggling schools,” said Ivey.

Now, the Turnaround Schools Initiative will start this October.

“That’s what we’re trying to do is turn around, go in the right direction so that every child gets a solid, good, basic education,” said Ivey.

$15 million will be spread across 15 elementary schools in Alabama:

  • Barbour County Intermediate School - Barbour County
  • Charles A Brown Elementary School - Birmingham
  • Hayes K-8 - Birmingham
  • Hemphill Elementary School -, Birmingham
  • Washington K8 - Birmingham
  • West End Academy - Birmingham
  • Faine Elementary School - Dothan
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School - Hunstville
  • Chastang-Fournier Middle School - Mobile County
  • J F Shields High School - Monroe County
  • Chisholm Elementary School - Montgomery County
  • Dozier Elementary School - Montgomery County
  • Highland Gardens Elementary School - Montgomery County
  • ABC Elementary - Wilcox County
  • J E Hobbs Elementary School - Wilcox County

“We want to put a large number of resources and support on a very targeted audience,” said state Superintendent Eric Mackey.

Partnering with the Alabama Department of Mental Health, Early Childhood Education and Department of Human Resources, Mackey says the schools were selected based on need, taking into account academic scores and poverty levels.

“There’s also a big turnover issue in many of those schools because they are difficult to staff because they’re in difficult communities,” he said.

Chief academic officer for Montgomery Public Schools, Bernard Mitchell, says they already know how they will use the money.

“It’s looking at areas of ELA, reading and mathematics. We’re trying to expose students to the opportunity to engage rigor-related activity,” he said.

Even though three schools will directly benefit, Mitchell says the effects will be felt districtwide.

“So we believe that if research says it’s good for these schools, we should use it in all schools,” said Mitchell.

“We’re going to learn from this over this first year and we’re going to make changes to the program next year in an effort to lift all those schools,” said Mackey.

The schools will receive their allocated funds on Oct. 1.

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