Neb. gets more than $17.4M to help problem schools

Federal officials say Nebraska will receive more than $17.4 million to help the state's persistently lowest-achieving schools.

The grant is part of $3.5 billion set aside in federal stimulus funding to help states with their problem schools.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a news release Monday that turning around the schools “is difficult for everyone, but it is critical that we show the courage to do the right thing by kids.''

The money being given to Nebraska will be awarded after applications by the schools and districts.

State education officials used a combination of graduation-rate data and math and reading test scores to identify the 52 schools that needed the most help.