Monday, April 12, 2010

Tennessee Squeezes Their Charters Out of Race to the Top Funds, Too

It's not just Colorado that has no plans to share their Race to the Top Funds with public charter schools. Back in January, I wrote about Colorado's RttT application not having any benefit for our state's charter schools. Colorado was selected as one of the 16 finalists for Race to the Top, but only Tennessee and Delaware were chosen for Phase One funding.

Race to the Top is a U.S. Department of Education competitive grant that is awarded to state's meeting certain criteria. One of these is how they treat their charter schools. Colorado faired well in this category.

The Memphis Business Journal reports their state's charter schools won't receive a benefit from the Race to the Top funding recently awarded to Tennessee. The money will be given to school districts that do not have an obligation to equitably distribute those funds to their public charter schools. The reason for this juxtaposition is that the federal RttT guidance doesn't include charter schools in a meaningful way. The grant is very misleading to the public who thinks that because states must be "charter friendly" in order to get the grant, the charter schools would receive some sort of benefit. Not so.

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