OKLAHOMA CITY – State Superintendent Sandy Garrett today presented Byng Elementary School with a check in the amount of $17,853.34 as part of a national Title I awards program the state coordinates.

Byng’s financial award was one of 22 such awards given to high-poverty schools today at a regular monthly meeting of the State Board of Education. The total amount distributed was $469,328.

The awards – which are called the Title I Academic Achievement Awards and should not be confused with the Oklahoma Academic Achievement Awards that were announced earlier this year – were given to Title I schools with student poverty rates of 75 percent or higher that either:

4 Exceeded the state’s Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) in mathematics and/or reading (as calculated by the scores of all students tested) for the last two, consecutive school years, or

4 Made the most gains in mathematics and/or reading achievement (as calculated by the scores of all students tested) from the 2003-2004 school year to the 2004-2005 school year.

Garrett said schools receiving the awards received base amounts of either $10,000 or $20,000, depending on whether they were being recognized for achievement in either reading or math ($10,000) or for both subject areas ($20,000). Then, their total awards were calculated by adding $36.37 for every enrolled pupil (as per final average daily membership numbers for the 2004-2005 school year) to their base amounts.

“The schools receiving these awards are grappling with significant poverty challenges and yet are making progress in math and reading achievement,” she said. “Math acumen and reading comprehension are essential to overall academic achievement and, as such, key to the future of every single child in Oklahoma. So, I hope these checks serve as a reward to selected schools by helping them pay for additional resources to further the gains they’re making.”

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