NC Places 9th In Funding Race
Special Report - August 27, 2010
North Carolina was named one of 10 winners who will split $3.4 billion in federal Race to the Top education funds for innovation in education and according to Governor Perdue’s press release, the state will receive about $400 million. The money cannot be used to supplant funding for operations that may be cut in the face of budget cuts, and at least half of the money is required to go directly to local school districts. It is intended to generate new ways of teaching.
North Carolina placed ninth among the winnersWashington, D.C., Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, and Rhode Island. North Carolina’s application focused on goals to raise student test scores, increase the high school graduation rate from last year’s 72 percent to 85 percent by 2016, and provide better preparation for students to enter careers or college. The state also plans to create a teaching corps program similar to Teach for America, which would work to recruit top college graduates to teach in poor schools. Incentives to get new teachers to work in low-performing schools include tuition money to pursue master’s degrees, forgiving student loans, or free housing.
After 46 states applied for the funds in the first round, only Delaware and Tennessee won. North Carolina increased its earned points in the second round by adopting national curriculum standards and passing SB 704Reform Low-Performing Schools as a means of appearing to respond to the administration’s preference for charter schools, while in effect doing nothing to better North Carolina’s limited and highly demanded charter school situation.
According to the U.S. Department of Education press release, North Carolina earned 27.6 additional points on its phase 2 application, over phase 1. However, North Carolina continued to struggle on the charter school portion of the evaluation, earning an average of less then 30 points out of 40 on section (F)(2), “Ensuring successful conditions for high-performing charter schools and other innovative schools.” The presence of a restrictive 100-school cap on charters in the state resulted in earning only two out of eight points on that portion of the application.
“It is unfortunate that North Carolina presented the concept of ‘charter-like’ schools in place of actually expanding the availability of some of the country’s finest charter schools to more parents and students by lifting the state’s arbitrary and restrictive cap,” said Bill Brooks, president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council. “North Carolina is facing one of the worst budget situations in years come 2011, and these Race to the Top funds will be helpful in serving to ease the blow to students, but wiser budget practices and more choices for parents would do much more for the students of this state than a one-time federal grant."
Charter School Checkmate - FNC - Summer 2010
NC Hits Wall In Education Race - April 1, 2010
Race To Washington - March 9, 2010
Education Standards Have Little Effect - February 23, 2010
Groups Say Lift Charter School Cap - January 22, 2010
Charter Schools Close Achievement Gap - October 5, 2009
Officials Defend Charter School Cap - September 10, 2009
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