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S.D. Unified Won’t Go After Federal Grants

Audio

Aired 1/7/10

The San Diego Unified School District is the only big city school district in California that will not go after the first batch of special federal stimulus grants.

— The San Diego Unified School District is the only big city school district in California that will not go after the first batch of special federal stimulus grants.

The grants are tied to the federal government's $4 billion Race To The Top program. States compete for the money by adopting reforms outlined by the Obama administration.

California lawmakers finally approved landmark education reforms yesterday so the state can become eligible to compete. They include linking teacher evaluations to student test scores, giving parents the power to turn around a failing school, and granting parents more leeway to enroll their kids in a school of their choice.

All of California's large urban school districts have agreed to take on the reforms except for San Diego Unified.

The district's Bernie Rhinerson says the one-time federal grants might not be enough money to support reforms for the long haul.

“It might cost us money and that's what we were not able to evaluate,” Rhinerson said. “(The district) wants to wait and have all the facts before just signing up for something.”

Rhinerson also says based on the latest projections, only eight San Diego schools would stand to benefit from the federal grants. He says the risks outweigh the benefits.

Comments

Avatar for user 'LGMike'

LGMike | January 8, 2010 at 10:59 a.m. ― 4 years, 11 months ago

But of course San Diego Unified will not go after reform money. The School Board (read Teachers Union) doesn't want anybody telling them what to do .

Has any of the Parents out there realized the biggest hold up to ANY reform is the "Union First" mantra. Followed closely by " Must have at least 4 adminstrative positions for every actual teacher in a class room. I have looked at the School Board, San Diego Board of Education, and both have at least 50 % more persons than we need. Especially in the top administrative positions.

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Avatar for user 'erika'

erika | January 8, 2010 at 2:09 p.m. ― 4 years, 11 months ago

While I agree that unions are impediment to many significant and needed reforms, the knee-jerk reaction to blame unions for all ills is not useful. In this case, the district is right to weigh the risks and benefits of going for the federal grants. Just because money is offered does not mean we should blindly go for it. A close look at the strings attached is what our children deserve.

Also, the School Board is made up of elected members of the community. They are not administrators. While there may be too many top-level administrators, they are not the same as the board members. It is important to know what is being discussed before blindly attacking positions or decisions.

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