I blogged a few days ago about comments Kentucky Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday made a week ago to the Kentucky legislature’s Education Assessment and Accountability Review Subcommittee. Holliday said if we lose Race to the Top (RTTT) funding that we will lose somewhat more than the $175 million that RTTT would bring. He also said we probably would lose RTTT if we don’t get a charter school bill enacted in the upcoming special legislative session.
But, I had no idea how large the stakes could really be. Holliday mentioned an additional $10 million grant we would not get, and he also said private foundations were getting ready to put up a lot more money that would probably mostly go to states that won RTTT awards.
Based on some figures I had seen mentioned for Gates Foundation programs, I did a rough estimate that Kentucky’s share of that private money could be about $15 million.
Well, forget that.
If this money only goes to the eight or so states expected to win RTTT Phase 2 awards, Kentucky’s share could be $63 million – a WHOLE lot more than the $15 million I estimated earlier.
So, let’s be clear on this: turning down charter schools in Kentucky could come with a really steep price tag, $175 million for the face grant, plus another $10 million for charter school-college coops that won’t happen, and forfeiture of something like another $63 million from private sources, which is expected to largely follow RTTT.
That is nearly $250 million we are going to miss out on because a few groups more interested in adults than children don’t really want any education innovation in Kentucky at all.