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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida's Race to the Top side deals catch federal attention



As we've noted in past weeks, about a dozen Florida teacher unions struck side deals with their school boards before agreeing to participate in the state's Race to the Top grant application plans.

Those arrangements have drawn the eyes of the federal Department of Education, which will judge the 30 applications for the money, Education Week reports:

"Most such side agreements specify two key points: Any changes made through collective bargaining to comply with a Race to the Top grant automatically expire when the grant funding does, and the state’s “impasse” rules will not apply to Race to the Top-related bargaining. Under those rules, once unions and districts officially reach an impasse at the bargaining table on a particular issue, the school board normally gets to make the final decision.

The U.S. Department of Education wouldn’t comment specifically on district side deals, but spokesman Justin Hamilton said federal officials would give Race to the Top judges intensive training on how to read and scrutinize parts of an application that are conditioned on collective bargaining.

Generally speaking, Ed Week found that states gathering greater buy-in from involved parties did so without significantly watering down their change proposals. Florida placed fourth in points last time around. Any guesses as to whether it will get some cash this time?


[Last modified: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 10:08am]


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