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How far will Race to the Top money go?

A third-grade teacher with her class in a Chicago school.

TEXT OF STORY

STEVE CHIOTAKIS: Georgia, New York, Maryland and Ohio are among the winners of the final round of Race to the Top money. They join the states of Tennessee and Delaware in sharing a $4 billion in federal education funding.

From the Marketplace Education Desk at WYPR in Baltimore, Amy Scott looks at how far that money is going to go.


AMY SCOTT: Not all that far, according to Aaron Pallas. He teaches education at Teachers College in New York. His state will get millions of dollars in Race to the Top Money. Pallas says the school budget for New York City alone is $21 billion.

AARON PALLAS: So it's not clear that this is really a lot of money. It became very important symbolically, I think, for states. But it's not going to plug a lot of the holes that exist in state budgets due to the financial pressures that states are facing.

To compete for the money, states had to make what could be lasting changes -- even if they didn't win. Like doing more to evaluate teachers based on student performance and making room for more charter schools.

Some of those changes are controversial. Critics of the charter school movement say on average charters fare no better than traditional public schools.

Pallas says among other plans, New York hopes to use the money to develop a new set of tests for kids in kindergarten through third grade and to improve low-performing schools.

I'm Amy Scott for Marketplace.

About the author

Amy Scott is Marketplace’s education correspondent covering the K-12 and higher education beats, as well as general business and economic stories.

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