Hillsborough schools hope for $26 million in stimulus money
TAMPA - The Hillsborough School Board will discuss the district's Race To The Top work plan - a chance at a share of $700 million for education reforms - during today's regular meeting. Hillsborough's plan dovetails with another district reform plan, financed, in part, by a $100 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The district hopes to receive roughly $26 million from Race To The Top. Here's how the money would be used: •Increase promotion rates at all grade levels and increase the number of high school graduates.•Make teaching consistent and effective. •Motivate students to become responsible learners and challenge them with appropriate curriculum. •Put the best teachers in the classroom and give them incentives and opportunities to stay there. "Great teachers and leaders are the major emphasis'' of Hillsborough's plan, administrators wrote in a summary on the district's website. Most of Florida's school districts agreed to participate in the second round of President Obama's federal stimulus program, Race To The Top, which offers $4.3 billion in funding for states willing to make dramatic changes to their education systems. Florida received $700 million for four years. Half goes to individual districts with the remaining half to help education statewide. The deadline to submit work plans is Oct. 13 if state feedback is desired. The final deadline is Nov. 9. The state is scheduled to announce grant recipients by Nov. 22. The school board meets at 3 p.m. today at the Raymond O. Shelton Administrative Center, 901 E. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa.
Reporter Sherri Ackerman can be reached at (813) 259-7144.