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Press Release

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Governor's Press Office
(850) 488-5394

Statement by Governor Charlie Crist Regarding Florida’s Being Named a Winner in Phase II of Race to the Top

“Florida’s students, teachers and schools won a great victory today with the announcement of up to $700 million coming to the Sunshine State as a part of the federal Race to the Top competition. Along with New York, Florida received the largest award and this funding will be dedicated to carrying out a broad range of strategies designed to improve our lowest performing schools, reward Florida teachers, and increase the academic achievement of our students.

“I was honored to lead Florida’s delegation to Washington, D.C., to present Florida’s Race to the Top application. Thanks to the Race to the Top Working Group for answering my call to come to consensus and strengthening our Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). As a result, Florida’s teachers and school leaders overwhelmingly supported the revised MOU, including 54 local teacher unions. This level of participation far exceeds the five local teacher unions who joined our efforts during Phase 1. I want to thank Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, who chaired the Working Group, and Andy Ford, the president of the Florida Education Association, for helping us achieve this tremendous level of consensus.

“My congratulations go out to every one of our stakeholders who worked diligently to build a successful application that proposes bold ideas while emphasizing our unified approach to education reform. By continuing to work together, Florida will put this money to the best possible use – building a better future for the children of our state.”

Statement by Education Commissioner Dr. Eric Smith Regarding Florida’s Being Named a Winner in Phase II of Race to the Top

“Florida’s triumph in this competition is a testament to our overwhelming commitment to student success and our willingness to overcome any obstacle to achieve it. With this critical funding secured we will be able to accelerate the academic progress of our students, provide assistance to our low performing schools and develop a system that properly recognizes and rewards our hardest working teachers. Governor Crist should be commended for his outstanding leadership throughout this process and the critical role he has played in bringing all stakeholders to the table to ensure a winning application.”