"Race to the Top" is now a race against time

November 1, 2012 12:46:03 AM PDT
The application deadline for a federal education grant called "Race to the Top" was extended until Friday afternoon because of Superstorm Sandy. And the Fresno Teachers Association faces growing pressure from the community to sign the paperwork.

Wednesday morning, pastors and clergy joined Mayor Ashley Swearengin in Southwest Fresno to urge the FTA and Fresno Unified to resume talks and submit the application.

The $40 million grant money the district is eligible to apply for would be used for early education programs. But the FTA has not signed off on the document because of concerns relating to teacher evaluations.

"We don't take this lightly," FTA President Eva Ruiz said. "It's a legal document were signing, and that could affect teacher's working conditions, which are then student's learning conditions."

"We know ultimately we may not be successful in getting the grant, but we don't want to get ourselves out of the competition," Mayor Swearengin. "We have a 100 percent guarantee of not getting the money if we don't apply."

District leaders say they are open to continue talks with the FTA and are optimistic about reaching an agreement before the Friday deadline. If no action is taken, then students lose out on the funds.

In the video, Action News reporter Carlos Saucedo has complete coverage on the story.


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