Statement: School district officials have repeatedly said that even though San Diego Unified hasn’t joined the bandwagon for Race to the Top, a competition between states for more school stimulus money, it could still get some of the funds.
For example, spokesman Bernie Rhinerson told SDNN:”Should the state be awarded any [Race to the Top] money, which I think is a question in and of itself, I would hope that it’s available to all districts who qualify and not just the ones who signed the MOU.”
Determination: Mostly True
Analysis: It’s true that if California wins any of the Race to the Top funding, San Diego Unified could still get a cut of the money. But it doesn’t look very likely — at least not where things stand now.
Why? There’s a sticking point. Spokespeople for the state superintendent and the California Department of Education said San Diego Unified would still have to sign an agreement that commits school districts to participate in state reforms under Race to the Top, including the controversial idea of linking teacher evaluations to test scores. San Diego Unified leaders are skeptical of that idea.
School district officials argue that their interpretation of the rules is that funding is open to all struggling schools, whether they sign the agreement or not. But they’ll have to convince the state of that.
— EMILY ALPERT