State Funnels $1M to Schools Ranked Lowest for Performance, Achievement

September 19, 2013

When the Christie administration yesterday announced $1 million in special education grants, what would normally be routine had a new twist: only the state’s lower achieving schools need apply.

The state Department of Education said that, for the first time, it steered these particular federal funds aimed at students with disabilities to districts deemed “Priority” or “Focus” schools the administration’s new nomenclature for schools with either the lowest performance overall or the widest achievement gaps, respectively.

Nineteen schools received the grants, out of 29 that applied. Fifteen of the recipients are “Priority” schools, the term for the lowest performing overall. The overall list included both suburban and urban schools, from Morris to Jersey City, receiving grants ranging from $20,000 to $200,000.

"We have focused intensive efforts this past year to help turn around our lowest-performing schools, and these grants will provide additional support to those schools," said state Education Commissioner Chris Cerf in announcing the grants.

"Whether they provide classroom programs, new reading materials and technology for students, or professional development for teachers and training for parents, the students will benefit."

The following schools were awarded grants:

  • School #6, Cliffside Park
  • Patrick Healy Middle School, East Orange
  • John Adams Middle School, Edison
  • Glassboro Intermediate School, Glassboro
  • Ezra L. Nolan School #40, Jersey City
  • Alexander D. Sullivan School #30, Jersey City
  • James F. Murray School #38, Jersey City
  • Lakewood High School, Lakewood
  • Clifton Ave. Grade School, Lakewood
  • Lakewood Middle School, Lakewood
  • Sussex Avenue School, Morris
  • Normandy Park School, Morris
  • Jonas Salk Middle School, Old Bridge
  • Abraham Clark High School, Roselle Borough
  • Maplewood Middle School, South Orange/Maplewood
  • South Orange Middle School, South Orange/Maplewood
  • West New York Middle School, West New York
  • Edison Middle School, West Orange
  • Glenwood Ave. Elementary School, Wildwood City.