RUSD's Shaw and REA's Urso sign the memorandum
Leaders of Racine Unified from both sides of the bargaining table signed a Memorandum of Understanding supporting the state's Race to the Top grant application. Without it, the district could not participate in Phase Two of the Race to the Top; with it, Unified culd receive between $4.5 million and $7 million in federal funding.
IF Wisconsin receives the grant -- and it's a big if, since the state finished in 26th place in Phase One -- Wisconsin could receive up to $250 million in funding.
On Thursday Racine Education Association Executive Director Steve Urso and REA President Pete Knotek met with RUSD Supt. Dr. Jim Shaw and Deputy Supt. Alan Harris to sign the memorandum of understanding. RUSD Board VP Sue Kutz also signed it earlier in the week.
The memorandums were sent out on May 6 by Gov. Jim Doyle and State Supt. Tony Evers; school district leaders had until May 21 to sign and return them.
“We have come together with district leadership to sign this MOU because we feel that the state’s Phase Two application is strong and we’re very hopeful Wisconsin will receive a grant,” said Urso. “We look forward to the opportunity to work together if that happens.”
Despite Wisconsin's poor showing in the first round, several changes have been made to improve the application for Phase Two. To review the state’s application, visit the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction website. The state must submit its Phase Two Race to the Top application by June 1. The U.S. Department of Education will announce grant winners in September.
The U.S. Department of Education announced Phase One winners in March -- Delaware and Tennessee. In all, some $4.25 billion is available, to spur states to develop innovating education-reform plans.