Sunday, November 15, 2009

$60 to $175 million from RTTT

The federal Education Department suggests that Kentucky's Race to the Top application include a budget of $60 to $175 million total. That is a non-binding amount, and Kentucky could apply for a larger figure, but it is definitely helpful to have a ballpark idea.

Some further ways to break down those amounts:
  • Kentucky could receive $12 to $35 million per year, with the rules calling for the total grant to be spread out over the current fiscal year and the next four.
  • Districts could receive $6 to $17.5 million a year for districts, because the rules specify that half of each state's grant must be distributed that way--and the same for state-level efforts.
  • Per student, districts could receive $10 to $29 per year on average, with the caveat that the Title 1 formula driven by disadvantaged enrollment will actually be used.
One way to think about the size of these amounts is to compare them to figures from the state budget before the great recession swept in. For FY 2008, the state provided:
  • $7 million for gifted and talented services.
  • $10 million for school safety grants.
  • $15 million for professional development.
  • $32 million for extended school services.
Another way to think about the money is that our P-12 education system currently runs on about $6 billion a year in local, state, and federal dollars. Even the high end of the suggested RTTT range will add just six-tenths of one percent to that total.

That suggests that good design and good implementation are absolutely essential if the funding is to bring potent and lasting new strength to our schools.

Update: The $60 to $175 million figure is from a "Race to the Top Budget Guidance" summary shared by EdWeek's Politics K-12 blog, here.

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Updates and data on Kentucky education!