How much will school districts receive under North Carolina’s Race to the Top (RttT) grant? A spreadsheet (Click first link: RttT 2010-2011 Allocations to LEAs and Charter Schools) from the Office of Finance and Business Services at the NC Department of Public Instruction provides some answers.
RttT awards range from $15 million (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools) to $2,500 (Casa Esperanza Charter School). Interestingly, award amounts are tied to the amount of Federal Title I money and ARRA money (stimulus funds). In other words, schools that received large amounts under Title I or Federal Stimulus funds would receive more under RttT. Translation: we continue incentivize dependence.
Two other observations. First, it looks like about 16-17 percent of each award is siphoned off for the development of “NC Education Cloud Costs” – a statewide computer project. Second, not all charter schools received funds. Funds went to those schools that participated in the federal Title I programs.
While the Department of Education has spelled out guidelines as to how RttT grants can be spent, my fear is these are still evolving. I’ve opposed RttT becuase it is just another disguised effort by the federal government to gain more control over the public schools. The distribution of millions by the feds to cash-starved states has dampened a lot of the opposition but also succeeded in giving Washington more and more control over public education. If there is a program that begs for a watchful eye RttT is it.