August 24, 2010

PSEA surprised that Pennsylvania will not receive Race to the Top funds

PSEA President Jim Testerman expressed surprise that the federal government did not select Pennsylvania as a recipient for Race to the Top, the federal competitive grant program intended to encourage education innovation.

“We are surprised that Pennsylvania will not share in the Race to the Top grants,” Testerman said. “We felt that the collaborative effort of educators and state and local officials made a strong case for the Keystone State’s application.”

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced that Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island and Washington, D.C., will receive grants. The amounts for each state are expected to be announced later.

Duncan announced in March that Tennessee and Delaware were named winners in the first round of the competition, and would share $600 million in federal grant monies. The applicants named winners today will share $3.4 billion.

Testerman said Pennsylvania had a strong application and could have put the funds to good use.
“Our members are committed to providing the very best education to the Commonwealth’s students,” Testerman said.  “The cooperation between state and local officials with PSEA resulted in Pennsylvania being named a finalist in both the first and second round of grant awards.”

More than 120 districts and dozens of charter schools signed on to Pennsylvania’s application for Phase 2 funds of the RTTT program, signaling their intent to support the grant application process. Officials at the U.S. Department of Education have promised feedback to the states which did not receive the Phase 2 funds.

“We look forward to receiving the additional information,” said Testerman. “We remain committed to working with state and local officials to implement research-backed programs to increase student learning and achievement.”



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