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U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige today announced that Montana has received $21.5 million this month for an array of education programs spanning pre-kindergarten through adult education and including teacher training, as well as programs to close the achievement gap between disadvantaged students and their more advantaged peers.

The funds are part of a national package of more than $6.3 billion in so-called formula grants distributed to states this month, The department disperses formula grants according to need every year in multiple installments. In all, the $6.3 billion represents more than one-seventh of the department’s total fiscal year 2001 appropriation of $42.4 billion.

“When it comes to education, decisions are best made at the state and local levels,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige. “In the weeks ahead, Congress has the opportunity to give states and local schools even greater flexibility in how they use federal funds. Through flexibility and local control, Washington can help schools and districts build the programs that will close the achievement gap and leave no child behind.”

Among the $21.5 million in awards for Montana are the following:

Title I grants to help disadvantaged children (grants to local education agencies; Program for Neglected and Delinquent Children; and accountability grants), $5,166,347.

Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities (State and Local Programs; and Governors grants), $492,933.

Early childhood programs (Special Education Pre-School; special education grants for infants and toddlers with disabilities; Even Start), $1,862,898.

Migrant education, $836,942

Teacher preparation (Eisenhower state grants; Eisenhower higher education; Eisenhower Standards, Assessment and Accountability), $2,398,869.

Special Education-Grants to States/Part B, $3,686,637.

Adult Education - State Grant Program, $1,349,909.

Vocational Education-Basic Grants to States, $1,503,244.

Tech-Prep Education, $519,374.

Education for Homeless Children and Youth, $115,286.

Innovative Education Program Strategies/Title VI, $486,525.

Comprehensive School Reform Demonstration Program, $857,592.

Formula grants like those above are distributed by states to school districts to give them additional support for programs aimed at underserved groups of children and areas of particular need.

For instance, the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Program funds school-community-based drug education and prevention activities, as well as efforts to prevent violence. Title I, the largest federal education program for pre-K through grade 12 education, helps districts close the achievement gap between high- and low-poverty schools by targeting resources at districts based on their number of poor children. Even Start supports local family literacy projects that integrate early childhood education, adult literacy or basic education, and parenting education for families.

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