Federal Grant Funds Stripped from Pueblo Middle Schools

October 18, 2012

A federal grant awarded to four middle schools in Pueblo to make academic improvements, has been suspended due to poor test scores. As KRCC’s Katherine-Claire O’Connor reports the school will lose almost 2 million dollars in additional funding if they don’t improve.

Initially, the grant-winning schools provided training to help teachers better instruct students in math, reading, and language arts. The Colorado Board of Education administers the grant. Spokesman Patrick Chapman says the past two years haven’t yielded measurable results.

“It doesn’t seem to be resulting in better things for kids. It’s still a low performing school. So the current plan isn’t working.”

District superintendent Maggie Lopez says her team is trying to figure out how to best move forward.

"We certainly understand we cannot continue to fund failing schools. Now we've got to take the next step. Because while the foundational pieces are in place and alignments have occurred, we've got to look at those bolder next steps."

Lopez and the school board wouldn't offer any concrete plan of action, but they're scheduled to meet with the State's Board of Education, which administers the grant, sometime in November. If the district can come up with new strategies for improvement the funds could be released by December 1st, otherwise the money will be awarded to a new school district in the state. For KRCC news, I’m Katherine-Claire O’Connor.