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School district will be ready for next Race to the Top

September 4, 2010
Race to the Top Phase 2 funding recently bypassed Pennsylvania, giving schools less money to work with. Warren County School District Coordinator of Grants and Foundational Development Matthew Jones said RTTT aims to promote education reform. The district might have received anywhere from $1 million to $3 million, he said. This figure comes from a formula which takes into account the number of participating districts in the state, Jones said. If successful, he said the district would have received the funding over the course of multiple years. The Pennsylvania Department of Education served as lead agency for RTTT, Jones said, and developed, presented and defended a plan to the US Department of education. Had the state won, he said PDE would have managed the money and reported on it. According to the USDE website, nine states and the District of Columbia won money in the second round. The states included Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Rhode Island. In a statement, US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said the winning states show the possibilities of adults doing the right thing for children. “Every state that applied showed a tremendous amount of leadership and a bold commitment to education reform,” he said. To participate, Jones said WCSD had to send a letter of intent to PDE. In addition, he said officials reviewed the state’s RTTT proposal with the Board of Supervisors and a representative of the local teacher union. Also, Jones said the district submitted a memorandum of understanding to the department. Finally, he said officials pledged to submit a scope of work to serve as the plan to use the district’s funding. “As I understand it, President Obama has requested new RTTT funding of $1.35 billion for a Phase 3 of the competition,” Jones said. “Congress has not yet acted on the request.” If approved, Jones said he would expect PDE to start discussions with its districts on how to go after the funds.


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