NC crosses fingers, enters national competition for education funds
The state of North Carolina has sent in its application for a piece of the $4.4 billion in federal stimulus money for education. WFAE's Simone Orendain has more: North Carolina is requesting more than $450 million from the US Education Department's "Race to the Top" program. But it would be one of just 15 states the department will award grants to. To qualify, applicants must meet four criteria. They have to show how their state will: make sure students graduate ready for college, measure student growth, recruit strong teachers and principals and turn around failing schools. Governor Bev Perdue says the state's application is centered around a plan to get all students- from kindergarten on up- ready for college or a career. In a recent speech to college educators, she said it was a winning proposal. "This means no losing out on jobs in the future to people with low skills. And I actually believe it means no more remedial courses in Higher Ed, which helps you in all those systems," she says. The governor's office says 100 percent of the state's local school districts have signed on to the application. It also has the support of teachers unions, the UNC System, the community college system, major corporations and public officials.