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Press Release

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

Statement By: State Board of Education Chairman T. Willard Fair Regarding school district side agreements for the Race to the Top competition

“During yesterday’s State Board of Education meeting we discussed the issue of school districts signing local agreements with their teacher unions as a part of the federal Race to the Top competition. We certainly appreciate the desire of these districts to bolster local support for the state’s application, but it is vital that they clearly understand what will be required of them should we win the competition.

“If Florida is successful, each participating school district will need to develop a local work plan that outlines how the district will meet all the terms and conditions of the grant as consistent with the state plan. If the local agreements with their union prevent them from submitting a final work plan that fulfills every applicable element of the state plan, then the Department will not be able to approve their plan and funding cannot be awarded.

“Race to the Top is an unprecedented opportunity for our state to accelerate its reform efforts and significantly improve the quality of education our students receive. We are confident that our school districts understand this and we know they stand ready to construct strong, innovative work plans should our application prove successful.”