I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
UPDATED More states drop out of Race to the Top
More states are dropping out of the Race to the Top contest for additional federal education funds even as New Mexico presses forward.
Could that improve the state’s chances in the second round? New Mexico lost out on $160 million in the first round and is applying for $75 million in the second round.
Stateline.org tells us that Indiana and Kansas both have decided against pursuing money in the second round of Race to the Top. But that still leaves more than three dozen states in the hunt for the federal money, meaning New Mexico’s got a stiff challenge ahead of it.
Prior to Indiana and Kansas’ decisions to forgo the second round of funding, a few states had declined to participate in the Race to the Top program, including Texas and Alaska.
Like the more than three dozen other states that also applied, New Mexico lost out in the first round of the Race to the Top to the two winners, Delaware and Tennessee.
New Mexico is in the middle of re-writing its application for the second round, with negotiations expected to continue between the state’s public education department and other groups, like teachers’ unions.
The deadline to apply is June 1, said public education department spokesperson Beverly Friedman.
UPDATED 5:15 p.m. — New Mexico Public Education Secretary Veronica Garcia hailed the news Friday afternoon. “It gives us a better chance,” Garcia said of Kansas and Indiana dropping out of the second round. “There’s fewer people in the race.”
Garcia and her staff are continuing to negotiate with teacher unions as they put together the state’s Race to the Top application in time for the June 1 deadline. The issue before them is how to find a way to measure teachers’ performance that both the administration and teachers’ unions can live with. Garcia said she has scheduled a meeting Monday with union representatives.