The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration is making good on a promise to use federal dollars to prod local officials to turn around failing schools.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Wednesday told states how he wants them to spend $3.5 billion in money from the federal School Improvement Fund.

The fund is for struggling schools, but states have had wide discretion in how they spend it. The $3.5 billion is from the economic stimulus and the regular budget.

Under the new rules, states are to award the money to districts that take one of these approaches:

-Close and reopen failing schools with new teachers and principals.

-Close and reopen failing schools under management of a charter school company or similar group.

-Close failing schools and send students to high-achieving schools in the same district.

-Replace a failing school's principal and overhaul its operations.