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Area schools in running for Straight A Fund grants

Alissa Widman Neese • Aug 27, 2014 at 2:41 PM

More than 400 districts statewide applied for Straight A Fund grants this past month from the Ohio Department of Education, which would earn them a slice of $250 million next year.

The state narrowed about 600 applications to about 360 this past week.

Area schools still in the running for one of the competitive awards: Clyde-Green Springs, Edison, Kelleys Island, Monroeville, Norwalk, Perkins, Port Clinton and Vermilion schools.

Proposals from Benton-Carroll-Salem, Huron and Sandusky schools, meanwhile, were rejected for not being fiscally sustainable.

A nine-person board reviewed the applications and eliminated any that did not sufficiently indicate how programs or projects would continue after grant funds were exhausted, according to the Ohio Department of Education website.

Edison Schools, for example, indicated North Point Educational Service Center could help sustain their potential Straight A Fund program.

If approved, the district’s grant would fund an expansive technology and teacher training initiative in Erie County, impacting EHOVE Career Center and Edison, Huron, Margaretta and Perkins schools.

“North Point Educational Service center could continue to provide ongoing professional development at no cost to the district, since we’re already a partner, which makes our grant uniquely sustainable,” said Catherine Puster, the district’s director of curriculum and instructional planning.

The state board is expected to announce all grant-winning districts in mid-December.

The grants — $100 million to be awarded this year and $150 million next year — aim to encourage innovation in schools. Districts winning awards will likely have pitched the most creative, forwardthinking ideas possible.

The next round of scoring will be based on how the proposals will increase student achievement, reduce district spending and target more resources to classrooms, according to the Ohio Department of Education website.

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