National updates: Ed Jobs deadline, ‘turnaround’ money chase

Mitch Daniels and other governors have until Sept. 9 to apply for their states’ share of $10 billion from the Education Jobs Fund created last week by Congress, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

The House voted 247-161 on Aug. 10 for the funding to save teachers’ jobs, which had already been approved by the Senate. President Barack Obama signed the bill the same day it passed. (It also included $16 billion for state Medicaid expenses.)

Indiana will get $207 million in Ed Jobs funding, enough to keep 3,600 teachers from losing their jobs, according to the Democratic campaign group Organizing for America. “With the support of the jobs bill, these educators will be helping our children learn instead of looking for work,” Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a news release.

The Department of Education says states may distribute the money in accordance with either their normal school funding formulas or their approach to parceling out federal Title I funds. The money is available for the 2010-11 school year, but some can be carried over to 2011-12. Monroe County school officials told the Bloomington Herald-Times (subscription required) that they would welcome the funding but weren’t sure how the additional money would play out.

Applying for the money could prove politically touchy for Daniels, who has charged that the jobs funding bill will add to the federal debt. Indiana Democrats are accusing him of “flip-flopping” by objecting to federal stimulus spending after he signed a National Governors Association letter urging Congress to provide more Medicaid support for the states.

Smelling the money

A story in the New York Times last week told how dozens of companies with little or no experience are chasing the $3.5 billion that the Obama administration is dangling for “school turnaround” efforts.

The companies include a firm run by a Virginia couple out of their home, marketing life and career coaching; and a charter school operator with five Ohio schools that are in “academic emergency.” “Many of these companies clearly just smell the money,” Jack Jennings, president of the Center for Education Policy, tells the Times.

The story also quotes Rudy Crew and Manny Rivera, the leaders of Global Partnership Schools, one of the turnaround money chasers that can claim significant educational experience – Crew is a former New York City schools chancellor and Rivera was superintendent in Rochester, N.Y.

Global Partnership Schools submitted a bid to the Indiana Department of Education to run the state’s turnaround leadership academy but, along with Indiana University, lost out to Marian University. (Marian isn’t mentioned in the Times story). Other Indiana applicants were B&D Consulting, Community Visions, Insight Education Group, International Center for Leadership in Education and Peterson Argo. Their applications can be seen on the state Department of Education website.

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One thought on “National updates: Ed Jobs deadline, ‘turnaround’ money chase

  1. Pingback: Federal money for more charter schools « School Matters

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