Twenty-eight schools will transform into Schools for the 21st Century next fall.

The status was granted by a Utah Board of Education committee Wednesday to schools in 10 districts. The decision will be ratified in September.The Schools for the 21st Century program, following Gov. Mike Leavitt's Centennial Schools, offers funding incentives for goal-reaching schools. The program received first-year funding of $800,000 from the 1998 Legislature.

This year, schools receive $10,000 base funding, plus $27 per student, mostly for staff development to get their five measurable academic and teaching goals under way.

"If you're going to make meaningful differences in student achievement, you must change the way you're doing things," said State Associate Superintendent Steve Laing. "That involves extensive staff development."

Next year, the schools receive $9 per student plus up to $500 per teacher at year's end for meeting goals. Schools may receive up to $2,000 per teacher at the end of the third year for meeting all goals. Spending the money, whether on schoolwide projects or teachers, will be decided locally.

"If they stay the course and meet those objectives, it's a ton of money," said Larry Horyna, coordinator of program development and support services for the State Office of Education.

Laing estimates a large school stands to gain $100,000. Maintaining the program through 2000 could require another $2 million or so from the Legislature.

Some board members were concerned that relatively few schools can participate in the program and hoped more funding would be available. Less than half the 65 schools in 19 districts were selected. By comparison, some 330 of the state's 733 public schools were in the Centennial Schools program.

The State Office of Education also needs to boost its assessment staff to keep up with the workload from the program, which requires goals to be measured, said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Scott Bean.

The 21st Century schools are:

Elementary Schools: Boulton, Davis; Canyon Crest, Provo; Castle Dale, Emery; East, Duchesne; Philo T. Farnsworth, Granite; Ferron, Emery; Greenville, Cache; Layton, Davis; Millville, Cache; Muir, Davis; North Ogden, Weber; Parklane, Jordan; William Penn, Granite; Rolling Meadows, Granite; Summit, Cache; Valley Crest, Granite.

Middle Schools: North Sanpete Middle, North Sanpete; Churchill Junior High, Granite; Evergreen Junior High, Granite; Helen M. Knight Intermediate, Grand; Millcreek Junior High, Davis; San Rafael Junior High, Emery; South Davis Junior High, Davis; Valley Junior High, Granite; West Lake Junior High, Granite.

High Schools: Layton High, Davis; Sky View High, Cache.

Special Schools: Hartvigsen School, Granite.