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The state has landed $115 million in competitive federal grant awards, with most of the money aimed at improving literacy at troubled public schools.

The money is coming from the U. S. Department of Education.

The aid for literacy totals $100 million and will be spread over five years.

That grant will help schools identified as having low academic performance buy top-rated reading curricula and instructional materials.

It will also provide educators with professional development, implement interventions to support students who struggle with reading and finance quality literacy resources for families.

The state plans to target 600 high-needs schools and early childhood education providers, 9,600 teachers and 240,000 disadvantaged students over five years.

"The U. S. Department of Education continues to recognize Louisiana as a state that generates creative ideas to solve critical problems," state Superintendent of Education John White said in a statement.

"These five awards will support the implementation of plans to address many of our schools and students greatest challenges," White said.

The grants will also allow the state to expand mental health services for students, create opportunities for teachers to earn credentials in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, and pave the way for a leadership program for current and aspiring special education administrators.

Email Will Sentell at wsentell@theadvocate.com.