WASHINGTON, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- Nearly $100 million in grants were awarded to state and local efforts to improve academic performance and support dropout prevention, U.S. officials said.
Twenty-eight high schools will receive $52.2 million under the Smaller Learning Communities program and 29 states and districts will receive $46.6 million under the High School Graduation Initiative program, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Thursday in a release.
"These grants will help our local communities and states in working towards President Obama's goal of once again having the highest college completion rate in the world by the end of the decade," Duncan said. "To achieve this goal, high schools must ensure more students graduate and are prepared for success in college and careers."
The Smaller Learning Communities grants support larger high schools' efforts to create smaller, personalized learning environments designed to improve student academic achievement and prepare students for post-secondary education, the Education Department said.
The High School Graduation Initiative supports activities designed to identify students at risk of dropping out, as well as academic programs and support services that engage students and put into operation dropout prevention programs, among other things, the department said.