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16 area schools awarded federal funds

LAWRENCEVILLE - More than 20 Title I schools in Gwinnett, Buford and Barrow have been named Title I Distinguished Schools after achieving adequate yearly progress for at least three consecutive years.

Distinguished Title I schools that have achieved AYP for at least four consecutive years will receive federal money for educational purposes such as the implementation of special schoolwide or districtwide projects, the purchase of instructional resources and supplies, or bonuses for principals, teachers and staff.

Schools are eligible for Title I funding if at least 40 percent of students receive free or reduced-price lunches, said Jorge Quintana, spokesman for Gwinnett County Public Schools. Title I funds are distributed by the federal government to these schools to assist in the education of students considered economically disadvantaged.

"These schools have surpassed state standards by meeting AYP, not just for one year, but for three, four and even in some cases five years in a row," said Carol Grady, the district's director of federal and special programs. "They are doing an outstanding job in the area of teaching and learning, with their students meeting expectations as standards are consistently being raised. These outstanding schools are keenly focused on student achievement, developing comprehensive plans and ensuring their highly qualified teachers are using the best educational strategies to meet the needs of all students."

The amount of money given to the schools is determined by the number of consecutive years the school has made AYP under the federal No Child Left Behind guidelines, the poverty level of the school and the amount of available funds, according to the state Department of Education.

Throughout the state, nearly 600 schools will receive awards ranging from $525 to $19,994.

In Gwinnett, Buford and Barrow, 16 schools will receive awards ranging from $525 to $4,434.

Three Title I schools in Gwinnett County will receive monetary awards for making AYP for five consecutive years.

Six Title I schools in Barrow County, six in Gwinnett and one in Buford will receive monetary awards for making AYP for four consecutive years.

Two Title I schools in Buford and five in Gwinnett County have made AYP for three consecutive years. Those schools will receive a certificate.