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Lawmakers pass school-reform package

Newhall district joins Race to the Top

Posted: January 6, 2010 9:28 p.m.
Updated: January 7, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Newhall School District will join the federally funded Race to the Top program following a 4-1 vote by board members Wednesday.

Board member Suzan Solomon voted against joining Race to the Top, citing concerns with the level of state control over school districts.

"I think it's too ominous and it puts the district in an uncomfortable situation," she said.

Even though board members acknowledged the lack of information with Race to the Top, they said it's a way to stay ahead of staff development and the next steps in education reform.

Race to the Top is a competitive grant program designed by the federal government to improve low-performing schools and reform education.

District officials estimated that Newhall could receive $50,000 a year for four years as part of Race to the Top. The district expects to supplement the federal funds.

California school districts have until Friday to decide whether or not to commit to Race to the Top. The deadline comes as state lawmakers approved education reforms that will make California more competitive in receiving up to $700 million in Race to the Top money.

So far, the Castaic Union School District and the William S. Hart Union High School District have declined to participate in the program.


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