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Oakland Denied Nearly $10 Million in Education Funds

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCBS)_ School districts across the state of California were expecting to hear whether their requests for funding through President Obama’s Race to the Top program had been accepted on Monday, but the announcement has been put on hold.

The State Board of Education met in Sacramento Monday afternoon and stated the announcement on Race to the Top money is on its agenda.

But with the postponement of the announcement, protests from some larger districts, including Oakland, that weren’t in line to get any of the $315 million the state has to give out, have been organized.

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The biggest Bay Area district to be denied money is Oakland Unified which requested close to $10 million.

Former state schools Superintendent Delaine Eastin expressed concern for the declining enrollment district.  

“The Board may be trying to help some of these districts that need all the help they can get.  Oakland as you know went bankrupt and so they’re in dire straits in terms of financials,” said Eastin.

Contra Costa County’s Mt. Diablo and West Contra Costa combined asked for $21 million and Solano’s Dixon Unified requested nearly $14 million. All were denied.

Race to the Top requires districts make sweeping changes to qualify for federal grant money, like firing teachers or replacing principals.

This is phase two of the program. California didn’t qualify for funding in phase one, but Oakland’s spokesman says the district believes it met the criteria this time.

The state Board is expected to announce it will reconvene within 10 days after taking the protests under consideration.

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