The Department of Education announced today which states won the first round of the Race to the Top application - and Ohio was not among them. ideastream®'s Ida Lieszkovszky reports that state education officials are disappointed, but they'll get another chance and are not ready to give up.
From the beginning, the 4 billion dollar Race to the Top grant was described as highly competitive. Ohio was one of 16 states - out of 40 that applied - to become a finalist, but at the end of the first round of funding only two states, Tennessee and Delaware, received grants.
Scott Blake is with the Ohio Department of Education. He says it's too early to tell why Ohio didn't win this round, but the state will submit an improved application for Round II.
Scott: We'll probably use quite a bit of the application that we've already put together. We'll need to take a look at the reviewer comments and see if there are any specific sections that need some more work.
In Cleveland, school officials have been counting on more than 20 million dollars in Race to the Top money to carry out an ambitious plan to dramatically restructure the district. Chief Communications Officer John Hairston says the announcement that Ohio lost out is disappointing, but they'll still go forward with the Transformation Plan.
Hairston: We have to. It's too much of an investment for our children not too so we will continue to apply for those kinds of moneies and hopefully we will be successful with Ohio being chosen as a state in the second round.
Hairston says Cleveland will be a part of the state application for round two funding.