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From The Grio

Obama proposes $900 million in grants to stop school drop outs

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is offering $900 million in grants to states and school districts to turn around low-performing schools — but recipients would have to take drastic action, such as replacing principals, reopening schools as charter schools or closing them outright.

Obama was to announce the plan Monday at an education event sponsored by the America’s Promise Alliance, the youth-oriented organization founded by former Secretary of State Colin Powell and his wife, Alma. Obama also planned to discuss ways to better prepare students for college and careers.

The White House says 1.2 million students drop out of school each year, and only about 70 percent of entering high school freshmen go on to graduate. About 2,000 high schools turn out half of all dropouts, and the administration says it will work with states to identify those schools with graduation rates below 60 percent.

Obama’s 2011 budget proposal includes $900 million for School Turnaround Grants. That money is in addition to $3.5 billion to help low-performing schools that was in last year’s economic stimulus bill.

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