Tuesday, December 15, 2009

RTTT: repeating costs versus one time investments

According to an Associated Press wire story:

The Louisiana School Boards Association voted to oppose state participation in a bid for up to $300 million in federal dollars....LSBA said that it is concerned local school districts would have problems financing improvements when federal dollars run out in four years.
That's a valid Race to the top issue if--but only if--the state plan adds recurring expenses.

The smarter way to use RTTT funds is for one-time investments with long-term benefits. For example, to:
  • Equipping all current teachers to implement balanced assessment, the core practice we've needed but not fully supported for two decades..
  • Equipping all our teacher preparation programs to nurture the same skills in future educators.
  • Designing, piloting, and implementing a permanent data system to track student growth from early childhood to college.
  • Retooling our evaluation systems to identify multiple levels of effectiveness, making sure the system has reliable results and broad support, with the intent of having it be a routine part of school and district work by 2014.
Some federal stimulus dollars go for roads and bridges, an infrastructure investment designed to strengthen commerce an communities for many years to come.

RTTT stimulus dollars ought to do support equivalent infrastructure, allowing us to do better work with our regular education resources for a generation after the grant runs out.

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