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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Pinellas supports revised Race to the Top application

Pinellas is in. And this time, it's all in.

Following last week's decision by the Pinellas teachers union to support Florida's revised Race to the Top application, the Pinellas School Board voted 5-1 today to do likewise, making it the first big-district school board in the state to do so. The vote means Pinellas will deliver all three signatures - that of the superintendent, school board chair and teachers union president - that the state is seeking to show federal authorities that its second application has broad buy-in.

"This is a big improvement over what we had last time," said board member Carol Cook.

"I think there are enough safeguards," said board member Linda Lerner.

If approved, the application will bring Pinellas at least $14 million over four years.

Board member Mary Brown was absent. Board chair Janet Clark voted no.

"I don't think $3.5 million a year is worth it. ... I think we could go out and sell T-shirts and come close to that," said Clark, who expressed reservations about her yes vote on the first application. "I still don't trust the people we're dealing with."

The deadline for other districts and unions to sign the memorandum is May 25.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 11:01am]


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