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NJSBA: Race to the Top Rejection Should Not Stop Reform
TRENTON, August 24, 2010 —New Jersey School Boards Association Executive Director Marie S. Bilik today expressed disappointment that the state’s application for the federal Race to the Top grant did not receive final approval by the U.S. Department of Education.
With or without the federal funds, however, the strategies included in New Jersey’s grant application should go forward, according to Bilik.
“The innovative reforms included in our state’s Race to the Top application can pay dividends in the classroom, regardless of today’s decision by the federal government,” she said.
In May, NJSBA was one of the first statewide education organizations to formally endorse New Jersey’s grant application. At the time, Bilik pointed to the proposal’s “innovative strategies” that would “open doors to educational opportunity for disadvantaged students, advance student achievement by providing additional teacher compensation based on classroom performance, build an accurate and useful database of student achievement, and give local school officials the ability to retain the best teachers making needed changes in the state’s tenure and seniority system.”
New Jersey was one of 19 finalists among the states vying for the second-round of Race to the Top grants. If the federal government had approved the state’s grant application, New Jersey would have received approximately $400 million out of $4.35 billion available through the program.
The New Jersey School Boards Association is a federation of 588 local boards of education and includes 44 charter school associate members. NJSBA advocates the interests of school districts, trains local school board members, and provides resources for the advancement of public education.