WASHINGTON, D.C. — Michigan failed to make the cut in the second round of competition for federal "Race to the Top" education reform dollars, despite increased support from its largest teachers union, the Detroit Free Press reported. The state had hoped to win up to $400 million to improve public education.

Mike Flanagan, state schools superintendent, said that the Michigan Department of Education would analyze feedback from the federal grant reviewers before discussing reasons for the rejection, according to the Free Press.

Doug Pratt, Michigan Education Association spokesman, told the Free Press that while the group was "just as disappointed as everybody else, it's important to keep in mind this $400 million would have helped but it wasn't going to solve our financial problems."

Public school districts still will have to adhere to reforms that the state adopted in preparation for the "Race" competition, such as a higher dropout age and a cyber school initiative, Brad Biladeau, associate executive director of the Michigan Association of School Administrators, told the Free Press.

Gov. Jennifer Granholm said the state presented a strong application and that she was disappointed it was not approved, the Free Press reported.

Second-round finalists are Arizona, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and South Carolina. Winners will be announced in September.

SOURCE:
Detroit Free Press, "Michigan out of running for U.S. education grant," July 27, 2010

FURTHER READING:
Michigan Education Digest, "'Race' language will include more charters," Dec. 19, 2009

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