- Associated Press - Friday, February 21, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa is getting $3 million from the U.S. Department of Education to help turn around low-achieving schools.

U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, chairman of the appropriations subcommittee that provides funding for the School Improvement Grants program, says improvement in the quality of education centers around focusing resources on schools with the greatest need.

Iowa was one of nine states selected for the funding announced Thursday. Nine states received more than $71 million.

The grants are awarded to state educational agencies and they in turn make competitive grants to school districts that demonstrate the greatest need for the funds and the strongest commitment to provide adequate resources to substantially raise student achievement in their lowest-performing schools.