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Bay Area School Districts Drop Bid For Federal Funds

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) - Two of the largest school districts in the area are abandoning their joint effort to bring in millions of dollars in federal funds through the Obama Administration's Race to the Top program.

According to published reports, the San Francisco and Oakland school systems spent months preparing a collaborative application for an upcoming round of federal Race to the Top funding. Applications were due Tuesday.

But, leaders of the unions representing teachers in both districts refused to endorse the application - and that's a deal breaker for the feds.

The teachers' unions were unhappy with a Race to the Top clause requiring student test scores to be incorporated in teacher evaluations. And, without their signatures endorsing the application, the school districts can't submit it.

The school districts planned to purchase laptops, high speed Internet upgrades, and new software systems that would offer teachers instant feedback on student progress, if awarded the federal funds.

KCBS, CBS 5 and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier:

Race to the Top applications in Los Angeles, Fresno, Sacramento and Long Beach have similarly been abandoned because those school districts lacked union support.

The Obama Administration launched the Race to the Top initiative in 2009, promising more than $4 billion in grant funding to improve schooling all over the country.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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