Florida again a Race to the Top finalist
The official press conference isn't to begin for a while yet. But the U.S. Department of Education press secretary has announced via Twitter that Florida is a Race to the Top finalist for the second time.
The other finalists are Arizona, Colorado, Washington DC, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and South Carolina.
Florida made some key changes to its application since finishing fourth in points in the first round. Those included a new memorandum of understanding that made clear that impasse proceedings would not come if school districts and teacher unions could not agree on the terms of the state's RTTT plans. That in turn let 54 unions sign on, compared to five in the first outing. (Still, 14 or 15 have side agreements with their districts, just in case.)
Ed Secretary Arne Duncan is expected to make some remarks about the latest round later this afternoon. The actual winners will be named in September. If Florida gets an award, it could receive up to $700 million.
Gov. Crist has named a delegation of education commissioner Eric J. Smith, Florida Education Association president Andy Ford, K-12 chancellor Frances Haithcock and Miami-Dade superintendent Alberto Carvalho to join him in presenting Florida's case to the USDOE.
“Florida has worked diligently to bring together diverse support from superintendents, school board members, teachers and teacher associations for our Race to the Top application,” Crist said in a release. “I am confident our team will clearly communicate why Florida’s past and present success will ensure bold education reforms that are critical to Florida’s future.”
See his press release for more details.