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Leaders Look Ahead After Disappointing Race to the Top Rejection | News

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Leaders Look Ahead After Disappointing Race to the Top Rejection
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LAS VEGAS -- Millions of dollars in education money won't be coming to Nevada. That money was supposed to help suffering programs that have already been hit by state budget cuts. Now, parents and teachers worry about the upcoming school year and how to offset more possible cuts.

Nevada schools were hoping to get over $160 million in Race to the Top funds. The blue ribbon task force spent three months working on the application, but the U.S. Secretary of Education said Nevada needs to spend money to get money.

Nevada ranks 49th in the amount of money it spends per student, and that's not going to change until next spring. Meantime, teachers will have to make due.

"New textbooks have been delayed for a few years now. Supplies are kept to a minimum," said math teacher & NSEA vice president Doug Bache. "I end up bringing more pencils or whatever supplies I need for the students.:

The Clark County School District was forced to cut nearly $350 million over the last two years, but the district would've been able to make up some of that with the federal money. Technology, teacher training and low performing schools were earmarked for some of that money.

One parent says these programs need to be championed.

"There are some tremendous things going on in this state in education, however they are not widespread enough," said Alison Turner, president of the Nevada PTA.

With the disappointing news, all eyes are on the 2011 legislative session and setting an education agenda.

"Nevada's Promise, what we call the grant application, is for excellence, rigor and equity. It's a roadmap or a blueprint that leads the way to education reform in Nevada," said Turner.

The Clark County School Board says no teachers or administrators have been laid off and they're hoping to keep it that way for the upcoming school year.

The blue ribbon task force will keep meeting this summer and into the fall, planning to give their recommendations to the governor in a few months.

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