Yakima County school districts face drastic changes - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima County school districts face drastic changes

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TOPPENISH, Wash.- Toppenish Schools are cutting resources and reducing money spent on teacher development.

After big budget cuts, superintendent Steve Myers is hoping they get the school improvement grant.

"The road to improvement is bumpy with mud puddles and with limited resources so it's even harder to sustain results," said Steve Myers, the Toppenish superintendent.

Two or three Toppenish schools are eligible, getting anywhere from $50,000 to $2 million.

The grant requires schools to either close, replace the principal or fire half the staff. Myers says it's a tough decision.

"All three options have a devastating effect initially on the culture," said Myers.

Despite the consequences, Myers says it comes down to money.

Leaders from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction say the grant will help schools that are in the bottom 5 percentile of learning growth.   

"Giving schools additional money will help them jump start radical innovations and achieve at rates of success of other schools," said Nathan Olson from OSPI.

Toppenish staff are waiting to hear back, but the superintendent says when they do, they'll probably choose to replace their principal.

As for the rest of the schools, many districts are waiting to comment until they find out whether their schools qualify.

A finalized list could come out as early as next week. 

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