Florida Rejected for "Race to the Top" Grant

President Obama at a speech highlighting the "Race to the Top" program.
TAMPA (3-29-2010) -

Florida was passed over in the first round of “Race to the Top” education funding, surprising some education analysts.

Instead, Delaware and Tennessee have been named as Round 1 winners in the competition for $4 billion in education reform funding.

But each of those states applied for just a part of that money, meaning Florida and other losers will have another chance to ask for funding in Round 2.

Florida was thought to have one of the strongest applications for the grant. The writers said they were surprised not at who won, but at who didn’t.

“While both of these states were thought to have strong applications, what's most interesting is the two front-runners who didn't win: Florida and Louisiana,” Ed Week wrote in its story, which broke the news of the winners.

Florida’s Senate has passed a bill to eliminate teacher tenure and base teacher evaluation and future raises on student improvement on standardized tests. The House is expected to take up the bill this week, and Gov. Charlie Crist says he will sign it, despite opposition by the state’s largest teacher union, the Florida Education Association.

Supporters say the changes are similar to what President Obama is asking for in the “Race to the Top” competition.

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