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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Pinellas asking for $39.8 million Race to the Top grant



The Pinellas County School District is asking for a $39.8 million grant through the federal Race to the Top program. School officials would use the money to focus on improving student achievement in 31 schools, including 14 schools in south St. Petersburg. 

The grant money would be used over a four-year period, with a substantial investment in professional development for teachers.

One interesting element in the grant application is the inclusion of five "full service" school sites, which would provide health and social services, counseling, parenting skills and tutoring. All of the 31 targeted schools are in five "at-risk communities" - high-poverty areas where students tend to have greater outside needs.

Some of the schools include: Lakewood Elementary, Maximo Elementary, Melrose Elementary, Gibbs High, Northeast High and Tyrone Middle.

The application is due later this month and winners will be notified Dec. 12, with projects to start in January. School officials said Tuesday that they were optimistic about the grant, but warned board members that it's highly competitive. Only 20 to 30 grants were given to school districts nationwide last year.

(This grant is separate from Florida's Race to the Top grant.)

Race to the Top is a major academic initiative of the Obama administration.

[Last modified: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 1:40pm]


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