California to reapply for federal 'Race to the Top' education reform money

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Shirley Jahad/KPCC

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger talks on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2010 to eighth graders during the signing of education reform measure 'Race to the Top' at Mary McLeod Bethune Middle School in South Los Angeles.

California found out today that it didn’t make the grade for federal money for education reform. But as KPCC’s Julie Small reports, the Golden State will get another bite at the Obama Administration’s “Race to the Top” grants.

California lawmakers reformed the state’s education system last year to qualify for $700 million in federal education grants.

But the Obama Administration picked 15 other states and the District of Columbia as finalists for the “Race to the Top” funding.

"This isn’t the last word on the subject" said HD Palmer with the state’s Finance Department. Palmer says California will apply for those federal dollars again in June.

"We did enact significant reform to the state’s education system to make us more competitive," Palmer explained "but it’s clear in the Governor’s view that we need to do more."

Palmer says state officials will ask the Obama Administration for guidance on what other reforms California must adopt to increase the state’s chances of pulling down those millions in federal funds.

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