Race to the Top money can be a windfall for Kentucky school dist - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Race to the Top money can be a windfall for Kentucky school districts

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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- 24 school districts in Kentucky will split a windfall of new federal funding, with many changes coming in the classroom.  But the largest district in the state, JCPS, will not see any of that money.

Santa Claus came early to the West Point Independent School.  The district, which has just 140 students, will get a share of $42 million dollars in new Race to the Top funding from the U.S. Department of Education.

Principal Lee Ann Mick says, "This is going to cause us to look at schools and the way we educate our children in a whole new way."

Teacher Carrie Gupton is already making her wish lists:  "We're working on mitosis in science, and we did an app with that and the kids just thought it was really cool."

Gupton had to bring in her own iPad for that lab.  With the grant, the school hopes to get all the students iPads, and install wi-fi in the surrounding neighborhoods -- totally changing homework.  The money is expected to fund an instructional assistant and an instructional supervisor.

Race to the Top is a highly competitive federal program.  The government awards $400 million, but only 16 winners were chosen from 11 states out of nearly 400 applicants.

JCPS, a winner in years past, didn't even apply.  District representatives told WDRB's Gilbert Corsey Friday that the district didn't meet the criteria for this round of funding.

West Point joined a consortium with districts like Shelby, Simpson, Spencer, and Taylor County schools to win the grant together.  That group, Green River Regional Education Coop, will oversee the spending.

And science teacher Gupton, who teaches some social studies too, says this is one for the history books. 

JCPS says it plans to apply for future Race to the Top grants.  But more money for this grant is caught in the fiscal cliff debate on Capitol Hill.

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