Cajon Valley School District
Underperforming schools increasing in East County
Cajon Valley district gets federal help
By Ashly McGlone, Staff Writer
July 29, 2010
In recent years, a number of East County schools have been classified by the
federal government as underperforming, indicating a failure to meet graduation
rates or English or math test score standards established by the No Child Left
Behind Act in 2001.
Two consecutive years of missed benchmarks garners a spot on the Program
Improvement list. Conversely, it takes two consecutive years of meeting the
federal criteria to be removed from the list.
East County schools on the PI list have nearly doubled, rising from 13 schools in
2008 to 23 schools in 2009. An updated list is to be released next month...
School Improvement Grants are aimed at giving schools an extra boost, beyond
the Title I federal funds they already receive.
The deadline to apply for the grants was July 2, and the California Department of
Education is reviewing submissions, selecting schools with a game-changing plan
that can be sustained once the flow of money concludes in three years, according
to Julie Baltazar, administrator of the regional coordination office for the California
Department of Education.
Baltazar, whose office handles the improvement grants, said there is roughly
$300 million available for distribution this year, with recipients receiving $50,000
to $2 million per year, per school. Schools have applied for a total of $645 million
in funding, making it “doubtful” that grants will make it to Tier III schools; Tier I and
II schools — those with the lowest 5 percent performance — receive priority. All
East County schools fall into the Tier III category...
In a district serving 16,000 children, 10 of Cajon Valley Union Elementary’s 28
schools found their way onto the Program Improvement list last school year, more
than any other district in East County.
District campuses with the longest-running designation are Lexington Elementary,
which has been on the list for five years; Cajon Valley Middle School at seven
years; and Johnson Elementary at nine years. Johnson, however, did meet the
federal criteria to get off the list in the most recent tabulation, the only regional
campus on the list to do so. If it meets the criteria again next year, it can get off
Cajon Valley Union’s assistant superintendent of educational services, Steve
Mahoney, said the district has received $4 million in Title I funding annually for the
past three years. Those funds are allocated based on the number of students
receiving free and reduced-price lunches. The same Title I funding level is
expected for the 2010-2011 school year...
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