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Treutlen Included in Grant Program
Wednesday, 17 November 2010

November 17--  School officials in Soperton say Treutlen County schools are being included in the grant program which is allocating $400 million to Georgia to help improve education over a four-year period.

Georgia was informed in August it had been selected to take part in the "Race to the Top" federal grant program which amounts to $4 billion nationwide.

Treutlen County School Superintendent Chuck Ellington says Treutlen is taking the place of Jones County which was initially announced as one of the 26 participating school systems in the state.  Jones County has since decided not to take part.

Ellington expects Truetlen to receive up to $1.3 million dollars, part of which will go to teachers who volunteer for a new merit pay system.

"We know that is a possible controversial component of the Race to The Top program, however, it's an opt-in situation for existing teachers.  We've got some really good teachers in Treutlen County and I'm sure some of them will participate and we want them to be rewarded," he said.

The school system will also take part in a formal program of standards and assessments and a data system that will help track and improve student performance.

Ellington says the grant money gives the school system funds to implement programs which it would have been doing anyway.

According to a Georgia Department of Education news release in August, 

"Twenty-six local school districts have signed on to partner with the state in implementing Georgia’s Race to the Top plan. These districts, which make up 41 percent of public school students in Georgia, include: Atlanta, Ben Hill, Bibb, Burke, Carrolton, Chatham, Cherokee, Clayton, Dade, DeKalb, Dougherty, Gainesville, Gwinnett, Hall, Henry, Jones, Meriwether, Muscogee, Peach, Pulaski, Rabun, Richmond, Rockdale, Spalding, Valdosta and White. The participating districts include 46 percent of Georgia's students in poverty, 53 percent of Georgia’s African American students, 48 percent of Hispanics and 68 percent of the state’s lowest achieving schools.

The state will work closely with these systems to implement the ideas contained in the application. 50 percent of the funds awarded to Georgia will be distributed to the local partners to meaningfully enact the Race to the Top reforms. The state will study the effectiveness of these practices to identify and scale up those that prove to be effective."

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