Editorial: A good use of federal education dollars

In another bid to enhance its system, Glendale Unified School District this week announced it is seeking a share of $96 million in federal grant funds to turn more of our neighborhood schools into magnet campuses. If its application for the U.S. Department of Education grant is successful, some $2.5 million could flow into the district annually for three years.

Glendale Unified has demonstrated its ability to succeed at shape-shifting elementary school campuses in the very recent past. In late 2010, it won a grant of more than $7.4 million to convert Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin and Mark Keppel elementary schools into magnet campuses. Franklin has gained recognition as a dual-language immersion school; Edison focuses on technology, and Keppel is a performing arts magnet campus.

If the district should capture the grant — winners will be announced in July — a few more of its existing schools could be transformed. Perhaps most tantalizing is the thought that Roosevelt Middle School could become a science, technology, engineering and math magnet, stretching young minds to consider and prepare for higher education in those fields.

More and more jobs in the scientific world open each year, often without enough graduating college seniors to fill them. Glendale Unified could both enhance its status as a leading district, better serving local students and perhaps help its bottom line by drawing in promising out-of-district students.

We are impressed by the consistent efforts by Glendale Unified School District officials to seize all opportunities, applying for grants such as this and, in turn, putting the funds into promising programs.

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