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Golden State Officially In The ‘Race’

Audio

Aired 1/19/10

California is officially in the running for the federal government's "Race To The Top" program. Today is the deadline for all states to turn in all the necessary paperwork.

— California has cleared the first hurdle by simply getting its application in on time. It was uncertain California school districts would be able to compete because state lawmakers first had to push through a package of education reforms.

Lawmakers recently approved that package, clearing the way for California schools to move forward.

If federal education officials select California, the Golden State could get up to $700 million in federal stimulus grants. The money is intended to help turnaround the worst schools.

Fewer than half of the school districts in California say they want the money and will make the reforms. Twenty of those school districts are in San Diego County. They include Encinitas, Chula Vista and San Ysidro.

Missing from the list is the San Diego Unified School District – the second largest school district in the state. Officials say they don't know how taking this money and adopting all these reforms will affect their school district in the long run.

States that are chosen by the federal government are expected to get the money sometime in March.

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