The U.S. Department of Education awarded $25.8 million sum to launch new projects as part of the nationwide grant competition Race to the Top. Previously, the largest academic grant Springdale had ever received was $2 million dollars. Administrators say the money will go toward improving technology and opportunities for students. They also look to increase parental support.
"A gift like this just allows you to think and extend and plan and breathe life into the models that you've helped be a part of over time, so it's been a day of elation here for us," says Dr. Jim Rollins, superintendent.
"We will see school innovation. We will see increased EAST labs. We will see more technology, one-to-one technology for each child. We'll see capacity building experiences for each teacher in the district."
Clarendon County, South Carolina, Clarksdale, Mississippi, Houston Independent School District, Texas and Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative also won grants which totaled more than $120 million. This is only the second year Race to the Top grants were awarded.