DOE commissioner: Tennessee could win Race to the Top

Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 10:08pm

In order to emphasize the importance of Tennessee's coming bid for coveted federal Race to the Top funding, Department of Education Commissioner Tim Webb went before the Metro School board Tuesday night and outlined the grim future of education funding for the state.

In a presentation, Webb reminded the board that the state was forced to slash around $70 million dollars of discretionary funding — monies going toward programs such as extended contracts, after school programs, tutoring and intervention — in the last budget cycle, yet the impact of those cuts has yet to be felt.

“School districts across the state did not realize the impact of that simply because about the same time that took place we got stabilization monies under the stimulus package,” Webb said. “There is a sense of urgency around that money because it is only there for this year and the next school year.”

While those projects are buoyed by the original stimulus money, it's essential for the state to pursue Race to the Top funding, Webb said.

“Many of the things that need to be done, we can't sit back and wait for more revenue to do these kind of things if we want to compete,” he added.

The Race to the Top Fund essentially sets aside $4 billion that will be awarded to states. Webb said his office has learned Tennessee is in the Top 5 contenders for the funding, and could receive as much as $400 million for “opportunities to do new and innovative and very bold and courageous things that have never been done in public education in Tennessee,” he said.

The monies include funding for teacher incentive programs, data systems, and school improvement grants, among other programs, Webb said. If the state is awarded the funding, school districts will be forced to sign assurances and school boards will have to strictly monitor the funding while the state examines the effectiveness of the programs implemented with the monies, he explained. What those assurances would be or how the board would be asked to monitor the funding has yet to be fully determined.

Tuesday night was the first time the board had heard from the state on the bid for Race to the Top funding, according to school board chair David Fox.

“I was happy he laid out a few parts of the plan, this was our first time hearing this,” Fox said. “Ultimately, there will be a lot of collaboration between our school district, the state and perhaps others to come up with a with a coherent plan.”

4 Comments on this post:

By: govskeptic on 10/14/09 at 4:44

Educational funding has reached it's peak. We are now
providing tax dollars for high School students taking
college courses at the same time as paying for pre-school
babysitting, slackers getting tutioring, and in school
primary health services.

Lets get a good middle-school course on "respect" going,
maybe we can get the cost of security down and grades
up in many schools.

By: Kosh III on 10/14/09 at 7:03

"Lets get a good middle-school course on "respect" going,
maybe we can get the cost of security down and grades
up in many schools."

Why middle school? Kids should learn from their parents to be polite, respectful, civil. Children should be seen and not heard.

By: TharonChandler on 10/14/09 at 8:47

To Commissioner Webb; ?Does this action (TN seeking Federal Dollar$) help insure 'Honesty' and Integrity in the 'Teacher Licensure Process'/ Qualified Applicant Employment process, in TN? Or is it just another dirty battle for bucks, ie state lottery; young qualified teachers getting killed via others getting 'emergency waivers' on Credentials. Such criminals forced me to move and they still hurt me.

To the Secretary of the State of California, this will be a respectfull letter and a work-in-progress until i can complete. I write in regard to my thoughts on 'the role' of the Secretary of State in state Governments, at juxtaposition to the way the 'two-party-system' has evolved in collusion with the major media outlets (to form an elite and exclusive Corporation out of what was rather supposed to 'Represent' ALL of the People). My goal is to 'ask you in an appropriate and proper way' to treat me fairly in my neccessary and appropriate endeavors, in the public arena of the State of California, in a world where i have been 'beaten down' very badly and undeservedly (to include mal-practice by the Secretary of Missouri office, previously in such endeavors).

The Secretary of State 'job' is the most important and yet the most 'beholden' to special interests at the state level. As you may know, a Secretary of a State of the US might be an elected post or an appointed position. That is the person and the place where elections will either be carried out fairly and honestly for the sake of the Democracy entrusted to her/ him by the people of said state; or else the point where the elections and therefore the Government will be hi-jacked for the purpose of special and selfish interests undeserved by them and unfair to all other persons of that state. Either way (elected or appointed) they/ you embody the most vital and important position in Public Democracy, as a Liason between the concerned parties, and every legal citizen contender is a valid and interested 'party' to the election regulations and outcome. Neither the Republican nor Democrat 'political parties' deserves to have 'monopoly power' via the virtue of Proximity to the 'Secretary of State' (and of course opinions may vary depending upon one's proximity to that official, their investment into the process, and their own arrogance or Hubris).

The elections, of every state in the US, Historicly always have been at the crux of social unrest and the potential for renewed economic vigor, and every election was the 'most important' one for the respective participants; just as this past one where i participated was vital to the life and well-being of Secretary Robin Carnahan and to now President Barack Obama, and to the US Attorney (previously appointed) that was running for Congress in the specific race that I was ousted out of by the DisHonesty of some particular person that office. It obviously was the most important time that i had seen, and where i was at that time most invested. Madam Secretary, that dishonesty on their part has cost me very bit of political and economic momentum I had raised before and worsely it has led to much attacks against me physicly (as you would find is common in Missouri, against political participants and specific government employees, if you would research; as also noted on my own blog); though such is not exclusive to them.

I 'took my life into my hands' in order to participate for the sake of that needful and downtrodden democracy and they then discounted that life by the sake of their own greed and elitist arrogance; they did it wrongfully, dishonestly, and illegally. Will you do the same? Will i ever recover in this worst time in History to be at such a Disadvantage as it has culminated to me? Mam, i am poor and homeless because I was willing to stand up for the poor and homeless (and the murdered and the belittled) in a nation where the elite don't care and will not allow anyone else to do so. Will you perform your service honestly and fairly in 2010? Will that be just too late for my life?

By: govskeptic on 10/14/09 at 5:10

Kosh: I'd say the day for getting many parents to
teach the kids anything is long past. Many don't
know anything to teach, and their examples at
home are being replicated in the school system which
is a big part of the problem!