Big Bucks for Schools?
State Board of Education delays approval of millions in grants to local schools.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
MPUSD was in line to collect more than $17 million dollars in federal School Improvement Grants to revamp programs and improve test scores at Highland Elementary, Martin Luther King Elementary and Seaside High Schools when the State Board of Education met Aug. 2 to approve the grants. But the board delayed final approval when some school districts complained the application process had been unfair to them.
Board members announced they would reconsider the recommendations and announce their final funding decision immediately after Labor Day. Department of Education officials were not immediately available to comment on the reasons for the delay, whether the amount of MPUSD's grant could change, and how they made their funding recommendations.
The preliminary grant award to MPUSD is much less than the $48 million district officials initially said they could receive, because grant applications for Del Rey Woods, Marina Vista, and Ord Terrace Elementary Schools, and Los Arboles and Fitch Middle Schools were not recommended for approval.
The district's decision to apply for the grants was a controversial one, because Monterey parents feared the focus on low achieving schools in Seaside would come at the expense of higher scoring ones in their city, and because the grant application required the transfer of a number of teachers.
State education officials also recommended schools in the Soledad Unified School District, Greenfield Union Elementary, and Chualar Union Elementary disricts for funding, while turning down an application by King City Joint Union High School.