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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, March 4, 2010

Hawaii not among states chosen for federal Race to the Top funding

Advertiser Staff

Hawaii was not among the 16 states and jurisdictions that will advance as finalists for the first round of the federal Race to the Top competition, the U.S. Department of Education announced this morning.

Race to the Top is a $4.35 billion effort to reform the country’s public education system and about 40 states and the District of Columbia applied to get grant money from the federal government. Winners from the first round will be chosen from the 16 finalists and announced in April.
Hawaii had been eligible for some $75 million in the first round of the Race to the Top competition. The U.S. DOE did not immediately release information regarding Hawaii’s application or explanations about why the state was not chosen to be among the finalists.
“During the next two months Hawaii will need to demonstrate we are serious about meeting the criteria set forth in the Race to the Top application," Gov. Linda Lingle said in a statement. "These criteria include implementing a performance-based evaluation and compensation system for teachers and principals; eliminating statutory, financial and policy barriers to the growth of quality charter schools; and making a firm commitment to increasing student achievement, particularly in math and English."
Applications for the second round are due on June 1 of this year, and Hawaii education officials have said they plan to apply again.
Lingle said that Hawaii could be awarded up to $75 million in federal funds in the second round.
“Hawaii should also demonstrate that we can implement a new education governance structure that holds a single person — the governor — accountable for the success or failure of our school system," Lingle said.