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Ohio districts lose out on latest round of school grants
Three Ohio districts were finalists in this latest round, but none ultimately won

Ida Lieszkovszky

Ohio has been shut-out of the latest round of federal grants for school districts. Three Ohio school districts were among the finalists for Race to the Top grants. But, as StateImpact Ohio’s Ida Lieszkovszky reports, none of the Ohio districts won.

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The Department of Education has awarded several rounds of Race to the Top grants. This competition was a little different.  In the past the grants were given to states who awarded the money to districts, this time individual districts had to apply directly to the feds

Three Ohio districts made it on to a list of about 60 finalists, but none from Ohio were among the 16 winning districts.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan says he can never be sure the right districts were picked.

 “This is a human process.”

But, Duncan says he has faith in the more than 300 peer reviewers who evaluated the applications.

Cleveland Schools and Maysville Local Schools in Zanesville were among the finalists that lost.

And Reynoldsburg City Schools near Columbus just narrowly missed out.  Its application which stressed individualized student instruction scored a 195. The lowest winning district scored a 196.

“We had a lot more high quality applications than we were able to fund.”

White House Domestic Policy Director Cecilia Munoz. 

“We had to stop due to funding limitations. So they had a very high quality, high scoring application.”

The winners split the $400 million dollar grant, with awards ranging from 10 million to 40 million per district.

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