Second ‘Race’ application wins union nod

DETROIT - Union support was much higher in the state's second application for Race to the Top federal grant funding, a fact expected to boost Michigan's chances of getting up to $400 million, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The Michigan Department of Education announced Thursday that about 87 percent of all public school districts, including charter public schools, said they will participate in the grant program and undertake the reforms outlined in the application. Of the participating districts that have teachers unions, about 83 percent also had union support, the Free Press reported.

The state Legislature already has adopted education reform measures that include alternative paths to teacher certification, state takeovers of failing schools, more charter schools and aligning Michigan's curriculum with national common standards.

Although a press release issued Thursday described Michigan's revised application, it also said that the document itself will not be made available to the public at large until June 1, the deadline for all states to submit their proposals.

Detroit Free Press, "Michigan applies for Race to the Top funds, beats deadline," May 28, 2010

Michigan Department of Education, "Michigan Submits Race to the Top Application Plan to strengthen schools, help students achieve has support of nearly 90 percent of state's schools," May 27, 2010

Michigan Education Digest, "Michigan 21st in 'Race to the Top'," March 30, 2010