JACKSON -- The state is getting $5.6 million in federal money for efforts to improve poorly performing schools.
The U.S. Department of Education announced Friday it was awarding more than $38 million. Others getting money include Delaware, Georgia, Nebraska, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.
Mississippi Department of Education spokeswoman Patrice Guilfoyle said the state expects to be able to give multi-year grants to as many as eight of 33 eligible schools, with competitive applications due in March. No local match is required.
"Essentially, the SIG program is designated for districts with the greatest need and greatest commitment to change," Guilfoyle wrote in an email.
The program has sent $33 million to Mississippi to help improve 10 schools or districts since 2011. Most have improved significantly, with Sunflower County's Ruleville Middle School showing perhaps the greatest progress. But some, such as West Bolivar Middle School, are still struggling.
Applicants would get $50,000 to $2 million per school, according to a January presentation to the state Board of Education, with grants renewable for two more years.