Are Race to the Top Dollars in Jeopardy?

The U.S. Department of Education has fired the first warning shot to a Race to the Top grantee for failing to fulfill their end of the bargain.

Hawaii is in danger of losing its $75 million grant because it can’t fulfill its promises in its application. However, Ohio’s successful $400 million application rested heavily on the Education Reform plan passed in 2009. Now that the state’s current leadership has tossed almost all of that aside, is Ohio next? Can Ohio meet the obligations it committed to if the current regime undoes all the reforms that allowed the state to make those commitments?

The Race to the Top judges praised Ohio’s landmark Education Reform of 2009, and the Education Commission of the States called it the country’s most “bold, courageous, non-partisan” reform of 2009. Ohio won the $400 million by just a few points, so the state has little margin for error.

Let’s hope the state gets its act together in time not to jeopardize $400 million for our kids. Of course, the Kasich administration also cut education funding by nearly $3 billion in the last budget. So we’ll see.