Many Texas School Districts Have Applied for Race to the Top Grants—But Have They Consulted You?

In the second round of the federal Race to the Top grant competition for school districts (RTT-D2 for short), many Texas districts have applied. Below you will find a list of all the Texas districts that submitted applications by the October 3 deadline. Grant awards will be announced by December 31.

As we have previously reported, the RTT-D2 grant competition is for both local school districts and charter schools.  It allows the U.S. Department of Education to bypass state governments like the one here in Texas that have refused to participate in the Race to the Top program because of federal regulatory strings attached. This second round of the Race to the Top competition will offer five to ten grants to successful districts across the country, totaling $120 million and ranging from $4 million to $30 million apiece depending on the district’s size.

While the program obviously has appeal for cash-strapped school districts, it carries with it a heavy load of federal requirements, some of which imply an end run around state law. A prime example is the demand that participating districts base teachers’ individual evaluations to a significant extent on their students’ scores on standardized state tests.

One safeguard for teachers in the grant process is a requirement of “meaningful stakeholder engagement.” Under this requirement, districts can improve their chances of securing a grant by, among other things, demonstrating support for their grant proposal from at least 70 percent or more of the teachers at campuses that would be affected.

If you see your district listed below among those that have applied for a Race to the Top grant, and you think your campus would be affected by the program, please let us know via a short survey what if anything your district has done to inform you of the contents of its grant proposal, whether you and other teachers have been given a meaningful opportunity to participate in the development of the district’s proposal, and how the district will demonstrate support for the grant proposal from at least 70 percent of teachers affected.

Texas AFT will use the information you provide to communicate with the U.S. Department of Education concerning compliance with the “meaningful stakeholder engagement” directive by Texas districts.

Here is the list of Texas applicants, as published by the U.S. Department of Education on October 4 (districts listed in regular type, under another district’s name appearing in bold, are part of a consortium of districts applying together for one shared grant):

Abilene Independent School District Texas
Aubrey Independent School District Texas
Argyle ISD Texas
Calallen ISD Texas
Celina ISD Texas
Everman ISD Texas
Grand Prairie ISD Texas
Krum ISD Texas
Lake Dallas ISD Texas
Marble Falls ISD Texas
Mart ISD Texas
Odem-Edroy ISD Texas
Pilot Point ISD Texas
Stamford ISD Texas
Taft ISD Texas
Bryan ISD Texas
Crockett ISD Texas
Goodrich ISD Texas
Clear Creek Independent School District Texas
Dallas Independent School District Texas
DeSoto ISD Texas
Edgewood Independent School District of San Antonio Texas
Carrizo Springs CSID Texas
Cotulla ISD Texas
Devine ISD Texas

 

Eagle Pass ISD Texas
La Pryor ISD Texas
Natalia ISD Texas
Pearsall ISD Texas
Poth ISD Texas
Edinburg Consolidated Ind. School District Texas
Education Services Center Region 12 Texas
Connally ISD Texas
La Vega ISD Texas
Waco Independent School District Texas
Galveston ISD Texas
Harlingen CISD Texas
Houston Independent School District Texas
La Joya Independent School District Texas
Lubbock-Cooper ISD Texas
Bovina ISD (BoISD) Texas
Brownfield ISD (BrISD) Texas
Dimmitt ISD (DISD) Texas
Farwell ISD (FaISD) Texas
Floydada ISD (FlISD) Texas
Hale Center ISD (HCISD) Texas
La Feria ISD (LFISD) Texas
Levelland ISD (LeISD) Texas
Littlefield ISD (LiISD) Texas
Meridian ISD (MISD) Texas
O’Donnell ISD (OISD) Texas
Petersburg ISD (PISD) Texas
Seagraves ISD (SeISD) Texas
Slaton ISD (SlISD) Texas
Smyer ISD (SmISD) Texas
South Plains Academy (SPA) Texas
Mabank Independent School District Texas
Monte Alto Independent School District Texas
Lasara ISD Texas
Santa Maria ISD Texas
Pasadena Independent School District Texas
Region 5 Education Service Center Texas
Burkeville ISD Texas
High Island ISD Texas
Newton ISD Texas
West Hardin ISD Texas
Region One Education Service Center (ESC1) Texas
Brownsville ISD Texas
Donna ISD Texas
Freer ISD Texas
Lyford CISD Texas
San Isidro ISD Texas

 

Sharyland ISD Texas
Weslaco ISD Texas
Rio Grande City C.I.S.D. Texas
San Benito Consolidated Independent School District Texas
Santa Rosa ISD Texas
Rio Hondo ISD Texas
United Independent School District Texas
Uplift Education – Peak Preparatory Texas
 Vancouver (Washington) Public Schools
Piedmont City Schools Alabama
Joint School District No. 2 Idaho
Utica Community Schools Michigan
Mooresville Graded School District North Carolina
Horry County Schools South Carolina
McAllen Independent School District Texas