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S. Florida Misses Out On Education Prize

MIAMI ( –Miami-Dade and Broward County schools gave South Florida a 50 percent chance of winning the Broad Prize for Urban Education Tuesday. But, both school districts didn't get the top prize.

The Charlotte-Mecklenberg School District in North Carolina won the national award that brings with it more than a half a million dollars in college scholarships for high school seniors.

"Disappointed, disappointed to have reached that level, disappointed," said Naomi Porter, Curriculum Specialist for Miami Dade Public Schools.

District Administrators filed out of the auditorium with the heads hung low Tuesday morning after watching the winner announced live on the web. But there is a concession prize for making it to the final four. Dade and Broward will each get $150,000 in scholarship money.

"I am really excited," said Debra Montilla of the Miami Dade District.  "I oversee the college assistance program and there are gonna be scholarships coming to our students by being a finalist."

That is the hope of students like Courtney Crawford, a senior. "'I'm trying to be an actress mostly theatre stuff," she said. "So I'm trying to go to FSU."

A $10,000 scholarship is still a possibility for students like her because of the $150,000 finalist prize.

This is not the first time either district has been up for the award. This is the fifth time Miami Dade was a finalist and the third time for Broward County schools.

The Broad Prize was established in 2002 and has goals of rewarding districts that improve, restoring the public confidence in schools, creating competition and providing incentives for districts to improve, and showcasing the best practices of successful districts.

This year, there were 75 school districts that were deemed eligible for the prize, but only four made it to the finals. The other finalist was the Yselta Independent School District in El Paso,Texas.


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