The New Jersey Department of Education announced that 372 districts and charter schools have signed up to take part in the Race to the Top award and will be receiving a portion of $19 million dollars earmarked by the state for those schools. Madison is slated to receive $6,867.
The other $19 million of the state's $38 million award will be used to advance the Gov. Chris Christie's education reform agenda.
New Jersey was awarded approximately $38 million in December as part of the U.S. Department of Education’s Race to the Top 3 competition. According to a release from the NJ Department of Education, as part of its application, the state selected four objectives in line with the administration’s education reform agenda:
- Development of model curriculum and assessments for all core content subject areas to support the adoption of the Common Core State Standards
- Development and rollout of an online Instructional Improvement System (IIS) that will serve as a platform for teachers to access the model curriculum and other supports like formative assessments and instructional tools
- Implementation of the state’s new teacher evaluation system and the creation of a principal evaluation pilot program
- Expansion of high-quality school options by strengthening the Department’s charter authorizing practices
The department said in its release that every district and charter school had an opportunity to participate in the award. If a district receives federal Title I funding, it is able to sign up as “participating,” and will receive a proportional share of funds according to the federal Title I formula.
If it does not receive federal Title I funding or chooses to participate without their allocated funding, it is eligible to sign up as “involved.” Those districts are eligible for subgrants from the state’s $19 million allocation and to participate in any professional development sessions offered to participating districts.
In total, the department said 344 participating education agencies signed up to split the $19 million allocation, accounting for 63 percent percent of the total number of those eligible. An additional 28 "involved" education agencies also signed up to participate in the state’s reforms.