State gets $1.5M in federal grants

KEKAHA — Schools in the state of Hawaii are getting a much needed boost from the U.S. Department of Education.

Hawaii Department of Education will receive $1.5 million in School Improvement Grants (SIG) to improve facilities, classrooms and the overall student experience. The SIG program invests in schools that are among the lowest-performing schools in the nation.

Kekaha Elementary on Kauai is an applicant for part of the $1.5 million awarded to HIDOE and is on the short list as a “priority” school.

The grant is not just a handout, however. It has guidelines that must be fulfilled.

So while Kekaha Elementary did apply for eligibility to receive funding, the school is still debating whether it’s in the best interest of the school to accept the grant.

“We’re in the process,” said Marilyn Asahi, principal at Kekaha Elementary. “We have applied for it and we’ll have to see if we’re able to fulfill whatever the requirements are. We’re still in conversations with the school, we’ve talked a little about it and we will continue to talk about where we are in the process. There are guidelines, it is a federal grant, so there are federal guidelines to follow. And we want the best for our students.”

Asahi plans to meet with her faculty and teachers this week to discuss the school’s next step in the application process for the grant.

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