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Did Billions of Dollars in School Turnaround Aid Help?

The U.S. Department of Education has pumped more than $5 billion into a supercharged version of the School Improvement Grant program that gave grants of up $2 million to the lowest-performing schools in the country to try out dramatic turnaround strategies (like turning themselves into charters, or getting rid of half their staff).

Now top Republicans want to get rid of the program altogether in a rewrite of the No Child Left Behind Act currently working its way through Congress. Under a draft bill introduced by Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., states could direct a portion of their federal funds to turnarounds, if they want to. That would essentially take the feds entirely out of the turnaround equation.