Yakima County schools selected for School Improvement Grants - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima County schools selected for School Improvement Grants

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YAKIMA, Wash.- Three local districts are getting special School Improvement Grants from the state. Forty one schools applied three of the nine districts selected are in Yakima County.

State budget cuts have devastated school districts, which is why the School Improvement Grants are so desirable. Of the nine districts selected, Sunnyside, Grandview and Yakima made the cut. Yakima Superintendent Dr. Elaine Beraza says the money will help low performing schools undergo a total transformation.

"Extending time for kids to learn, having more resources for students, greater accountability for teachers and administrators," said Dr. Beraza.

In Yakima, Barge-Lincoln Elementary, Adams Elementary, Washington Middle School and the alternative school were selected.

Another requirement of the grant is to replace the principal and change the way students are learning. To qualify, state leaders looked at schools with low performance rates, diversity and underserved groups like a large number of Latino students.

"These particular schools, our kids are real bright they simple need opportunities to learn and this pulls in the community and their families and I think that's pretty powerful," said Dr. Beraza.

School district leaders will now negociate how much each school will get. That can range from $50,000 to $2 million. Dr. Beraza says they hope to have the grant finalized by April 27th.