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Sattler: So Much For "RTTT-Ing" NCLB Dollars

Sattler head shot 0209 Secretary of Education Arne Duncan was abundantly clear in response to House Budget Committee member inquiries at yesterday's hearing on the Education Department's budget proposal: Title I will never be competitively funded. (Duncan's opening statement, which he read word for word, is here.)

On the other hand, any additional funds *will* go into competitive grants. He said that Tom Skelton Jim Shelton, who is running the yet-to-be-announced Investing in Innovation grant competition, is currently wrestling with the key question of how to assist small and rural districts without grant writers. (By the way, that competition announcement seems WAY overdue.)

As noted in the Washington Post, Committee members seemed awfully touchy when Duncan referred to the funding for Teach for America as an "earmark." Since when is funding, requested by a Member of Congress, placed into an agency's budget for a specific company, and not requested by that agency, NOT an earmark?

Cheryl L. Sattler, Ph.D., is senior partner at Ethica, LLC. She writes and provides technical assistance about Federal education programs, and can be reached at www.ethicallc.com.

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TFA is an authorized program under HEA, which makes it not an earmark.

Florida has written the application for the grant and is having school districts apply to the state to get the funds. RTTT will be replacing NCLB and has certain criteria that once implimented will help the smaller districts. Some say that the amount of funds they will get will be used mostly to pay for someone to keep up with the monitoring of the grant.

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