Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds today announced federal money for 20 schools to help them study school safety, bullying, student engagement and attendance over the next four years. Reynolds says Iowa will receive $3.5-million this year and $14-million over the four years.

The schools were chosen after the state conducted the “Iowa Safe and Supportive Schools” survey. She says 60 schools were selected for the survey, 47 participated and 20 were selected to take part in the program to “make schools a safe environment to learn.” Reynolds says students, parents and teachers took the survey.

Reynolds says it was a private survey and she says one of the issues they heard during their forums on education was how do they get students to attend school. Reynolds says the schools did not get the lowest scores on the survey, but did show the greatest opportunity for improvement based on results and scoring. ”

Reynolds says they have heard over and over that changes need to happen at the local level and we need more communities involved in the educational process. She says this is an opportunity for students to reconnect and then they will use the information form the program to figure out the best practices to use to accomplish the improvement in schools.

The Department of Education will begin working with the districts in October to help them with the program. Reynolds says while there are 20 schools participating, all the schools in the state will benefit from what they learn.

The 20 schools that will participate in the program are: Dubuque Senior, Oelwein, Armstrong Ringstead, East Greene, Columbus Community, Davenport Central, Louisa-Muscatine, Iowa Valley,Olin, Des Moines East, Marcus-Meridan-Cleghorn, Sioux City West, West Sioux, Council Bluffs Lincoln, Burlington, Keokuk, Ottumwa, Winfireld-Mt. Union, Waterloo East, Waterloo West.