Wisconsin has been knocked out of the running in its first try for federal Race to the Top education funding.
The state’s application is not on the list of finalists for the first round of grants under the $4.5 billion program. Governor Jim Doyle says the state had a strong proposal, but he believes the failure to pass reforms for the Milwaukee Public School system hurt our chances.
The Governor has been calling on lawmakers to pass legislation that would allow Milwaukee’s mayor to appoint the MPS superintendent. However, the school board and some Milwaukee Democrats remain opposed to the plan. The Governor says federal education officials have made it clear that such reforms are crucial.
Doyle says Wisconsin’s $254 million application could bring many benefits to the state, not just Milwaukee. He’s calling on the Legislature to act quickly to reform MPS, so Wisconsin can submit a stronger application for the next round.
The state has until June 2nd to submit another application for funding. Doyle says the competition will be even tougher though, as more states will be applying in the next round.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:08)