Feb 25, 2013 2:18 PM by Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) - Education Secretary Arne Duncan is announcing a $15 million program to send AmeriCorps volunteers into schools to try to reduce the dropout rate.
Duncan and the Corporation for National and Community Service chief Wendy Spencer on Monday rolled out the three-year program, called the School Turnaround AmeriCorps. The program's goal will be to help about 60 of the nation's lowest performing schools increase student achievement and graduation rates.
Duncan says the money will be distributed through competitive grants and will involve about 650 AmeriCorps volunteers who will work with students on their reading and math skills, social development and attendance records.
The spending is small compared to the Education Department's other efforts to help troubled schools. Since 2009, the department has spent $4.5 billion in the nation's 1,300 worst schools.