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If legislators had listened to us, and to the people running the federal education Race to the Top (RTTT) funding sweepstakes, Kentucky would have already enacted a charter school law and the end result would have been an easy win for us.
You see, with the extra 30 to 40 points that charters would have given us in the RTTT competition, we would have exceeded the scores of at least one of the two winning states.
Instead, we now face an uncertain future in the Phase II RTTT competition as our education commissioner scrambles to get emergency legislation for charter schools in place.
Read the Herald-Leader’s story here.
And the Courier-Journal’s ‘take’ here.
By the way, according to these news articles, Kentucky got a RTTT score of 418.8 while second-place winner Tennessee (which does have charter schools) got a score of 444.2.
There seems to be some confusion about exactly how much the lack of Kentucky charter schools cost Kentucky (the Courier article indicates 40 points, the Herald-Leader says Kentucky Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday says it was only 32 points), but in any event Kentucky would have won a RTTT award if it had charter schools in place.
In RTTT Round One Kentucky asked for $200 million. Now we have lost at least $25 million because our Phase II award is limited to $175 million. However, we probably won’t get a dime from Phase II if our legislators don’t finally institute some real education reform by setting up a charter school program in Kentucky.