GRAND RAPIDS—Some schools across the state and here in West Michigan, including Grand Rapids Public Schools, could be seeing an increase in funding thanks to the President Obama's "Race To The Top" education initiative.
In Michigan, the Project Re-Imagine Initiative is aimed at securing the state's share of the nearly $5 billion in federal stimulus funds.
That word comes just weeks after millions of dollars in school funding was eliminated from the state budget.
This is not a foregone conclusion, however. In order for Michigan schools to qualify, new laws will have to be passed to tie student data and achievement to teacher performance, according to the Michigan School Superintendent, Mike Flanagan. States are being encouraged to pursue tougher academic and student performance standards, better teacher recruitment methods, and plans to turn around failing schools.
Thirteen demonstration projects that include more than 50 school districts were announced Thursday as having been qualified for grant money.
The Grand Rapids Public Schools are among the districts being considered. The GRPS plan includes career focused high schools, called the Centers For Innovation.
More items in the GRPS plan:
- A Merit Pay System- based on performance tied to academic achievement
- Online Classes- high school students can get college credit as well as partnerships with Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Valley State University, Davenport University, Michigan State University, Ferris State University and Calvin College.
- None Seat Time Based On Instructional Options for Students- internships, apprenticeships, service learning opportunities, and job shadowing.
A few other West Michigan schools were on the list including Lakeview in Battle Creek and Comstock in Kalamazoo.
The deadline for the proposals is next January and the money will be distributed in April of 2010.