BROOKLYN - Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn have announced the expansion of the Middle School Quality Initiative (MSQI) with $6.2 million in state and federal funds.

The pilot program, introduced in 2011, offers students 12 extra hours a week of intense reading tutoring. The expansion will include 12,000 more students across 40 city middle schools.

Over the next six weeks, the Department of Education (DOE) will select which schools will participate in the program. Schools will be able to apply, but the DOE says it will target those with the greatest need.

According to Quinn, the program should be a priority for citywide expansion due to the amount of students reading below their grade level.