Educators Trying to Figure out What to do as Race to the Top Mon - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del. Educators Trying to Figure out What to do as Race to the Top Money Ends in 2014

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FELTON, Del. (WBOC) - Race to the Top funding is scheduled to end this year in Delaware. In 2010 the federal government gave Delaware almost $120 million to improve education.

The program's end means tough decisions ahead. The state government and all of Delaware's school districts are working on their 2015 budget plans right now. Over the past few years, they used the money for a whole host of programs, personnel, technology and much more.

Now, it's time to figure out what to keep and what to let go.

For example, Lake Forest North Elementary school is one of 17 title one schools getting $50,000 for high performance.

"They can use this money to enhance curriculum, teacher training purposes, purchase additional resources and materials," said Daniel Curry, Lake Forest's superintendent.

The cash comes through the state from its share of the Race to the Top money. Lt. Gov. Matt Denn says this is one of many programs the state will have to take a hard look at when that race to the top money is all gone.

"We're going to have to decide whether we can continue it or not," said Denn. "There are a couple of possibilities. One is that we do it on a smaller scale."

Schools and the state have to find other ways to pay for anything they want to keep.

The issue came up at a recent budget hearing for the Department of Education. The Office of Management and Budget was very interested in learning what the DOE wanted to keep and wanted to get rid of.

Lake Forest got $1.6 million over four years from race to the top. Curry says that money gave the district the ability to try things. Now it's a matter of determining what's worth continuing. Some things will have to go.

"Rather than cut out all the Race to the Top initiatives," he said. "Maybe we need to cut out some of our previous local initiatives that haven't paid nearly in the way Race to the Top ones have."

While the money is scheduled to end in September, the state is asking the federal government for a one-year extension. There could currently be as much as $10-12 million left to use.

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