300 school districts want Race to the Top money

From MPR’s Tom Weber:

300 school districts and more than 100 charter schools across Minnesota have signed on to a bid by the state to win federal stimulus dollars.

The Race to the Top funding will go to states that showcase the best efforts to improve education. Forty states applied this week.

In Minnesota, districts that sign on will also have to try to enact the merit pay program called Q-Comp… which the state’s teachers union Education Minnesota has criticized.

But Education Commissioner Alice Seagren says Q-Comp fit what the feds were looking for – so it was logical to include it:

“I think at the national level, what people are focused on is President Obama and Secretary Duncan’s insistence that there be some linkage between the individual student and the achievement of their children. We have to meet that criteria for Race to the Top; that’s one of the non-negotiables.”

States will find out in April if they’ve won the money – Minnesota is vying for 330-million dollars over four years.

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