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The state Board of Education put off approving which low achieving schools would be awarded money for plans to turn themselves around and improve student achievement.

That leaves the fates of four county schools that applied for the funds up in the air.

“This is not a ‘done deal’ yet it appears,” Alyson Evans wrote to me. She oversees grants at San Diego Unified, where the sole school to apply, Burbank Elementary, was not slated to win funds.

Only two of the eligible San Diego County schools were slated to get funding, under California Department of Education recommendations. But the state board was concerned about how different schools and districts were ranked and decided to postpone awarding the grants.

Monica Henestroza, who handles government affairs for San Diego Unified, said that the state had ranked school districts instead of individual schools, which could allow less worthy schools to get funded simply because “the overall district package was more competitive.” She was one of several speakers who urged the board to reconsider how it weighed the applications.

The stakes are high: Schools can get up to $6 million over three years to implement reform plans, which can range from replacing staff to increasing learning time and making teachers more effective.

— EMILY ALPERT

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