As I noted earlier Ohio was one of a handful of States that has been awarded the second round of the U.S. Department of Education’s “Race to the Top” school reform funding program.

Here’s a breakdown as to what the participating public and charter schools can expect to receive over the next four years (Excel format) as Ohio receives this $400 million grant.

From Governor Strickland’s press release:

“I want to thank Secretary Duncan and the Obama administration for this opportunity to implement what I believe is a visionary education plan for Ohio’s children. Our students deserve every opportunity to succeed in and beyond the classroom, and I believe the creative and forward-thinking initiatives outlined in our winning application provide just that,” Strickland said. “Ohio has shown its commitment to encouraging innovation by passing successful economic development initiatives like Ohio Third Frontier, and this award builds on our job creation strategy by helping prepare the next generation of Ohio entrepreneurs and innovators.”

“I give my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to our education and community partners who supported this application, and our dedicated team of education leaders who worked tirelessly on behalf of Ohio’s children,” Strickland said.

Ohio’s application built upon many of the activities of the education reform plan outlined in House Bill 1, and the priorities placed on education during the last two decades. During the creation of the Round 2 application, KidsOhio and the Ohio Grantmakers Forum, Inc. played an instrumental role in bringing together representatives from different education groups. They brought together more than 100 individuals representing 70 organizations to attend editorial and review sessions. From these experts, the Ohio Department of Education was able to add clarity, more detail and evidence to the Round 2 application.

Ohio’s application built upon many of the activities of the education reform plan outlined in House Bill 1, and the priorities placed on education during the last two decades. During the creation of the Round 2 application, KidsOhio and the Ohio Grantmakers Forum, Inc. played an instrumental role in bringing together representatives from different education groups. They brought together more than 100 individuals representing 70 organizations to attend editorial and review sessions. From these experts, the Ohio Department of Education was able to add clarity, more detail and evidence to the Round 2 application.

Lee Fisher’s Senate campaign also issued congratulations:

“This is great news for Ohio’s students. The Race to the Top grant will provide up to $400 million to our schools to help close the achievement gap, improve lower-performing schools and support innovative teaching techniques that lead to higher test scores. I congratulate Governor Strickland and our entire Race to the Top team for their tireless commitment to Ohio’s school children and their families. Utilizing this grant, we will continue our work to ensure that Ohioans receive a world-class education that will prepare them to compete in the 21st century economy."

Rob Portman and John Kasich couldn’t be heard over the crickets in their campaign when it comes to education.

The great thing about this is that this money is going to target the most at-risk kids and is designed to improve underperforming schools.  And in one fell swoop, Ted Strickland has made merit-based teacher pay a reality in Ohio.  According to one local school district in my county which is getting Race to the Top funding:

“The district announced at its Monday meeting that it will be looking at adopting a merit-based pay system for its teachers, possibly eliminating its salary step schedule that has been a fixture in Ohio schools for decades. This lines up with changes that may be implemented state-wide to meet requirements for this Race to the Top money.”

This isn’t just about money for schools.  It’s about closing the gap and reforming failing systems into successful systems.  This isn’t going to be a one-day story.

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