Saturday, July 25, 2009

Race to the top: $21 million a year?

As folks start thinking about Race for the Top applications, it's worth trying to get a ballpark idea of what Kentucky's share might be if we receive a grant.

$4.35 billion is the total competitive funding.

$4 billion is available in the main competition, with $350 million set aside for separate funding of new test development.

1.3% is roughly Kentucky's share of the country's public school enrollment.

$52 million is 1.3% of the $4 billion.

$104 million doubles that because not all states will get grants. New York and California and some other states may be ineligible because of their rules against using test scores in staff evaluations, and in a true competition, some eligible states will not win.

$21 million might be one year of that funding, which can be spent during the school year about to begin and the next four after that.

Of course, Kentucky could lose in the competition, receive more or less, and spread the spending out in a different way.

But thinking about $21 million a year for five years is a way of seeing that the funding is on a scale with state funding in recent years for professional development or extended school services.

It's not enough for massive new systems or big changes in staffing levels or compensations. It's also probably not enough incentive for states to make massive policy changes and go in directions they would not take without this money being on offer.

It is enough for a few important targeted efforts or one-time investments designed to the winning states to deliver at a higher level for years into the future.

1 comment:

  1. For nearly 40 years, I, as a public school teacher and as a volunteer, have dedicated my life to helping children and adults with dyslexia. While dyslexia is an invisible disability often occurring in very intelligent students, these students are often misunderstood, thought lazy, and valuable human potential is wasted. We cannot step into their shoes and understand the pain they suffer. Show me how the stimulus money will help this neglected segment of society?


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