local | Education | Politics

Lacking Teacher Support, 3 Ore. Districts Opt Not To Seek Funds

OPB | Oct. 4, 2013 11:12 a.m.

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Three Oregon school districts have backed out of an application for federal funding, hours before the filing deadline this week. That left one district in the lurch.

Salem-Keizer schools were able to reach an agreement with teachers, and did apply for federal funds.

Salem-Keizer schools were able to reach an agreement with teachers, and did apply for federal funds.

Lucila Cejas Epple / OPB

The Portland, Beaverton and Eugene school districts failed to reach agreements with their teachers’ unions in time to compete for $30 million in federal funds. Teacher support is required to get a Race to the Top grant.

Salem-Keizer was part of that effort, too, and it had an agreement with teachers.

Salem-Keizer spokesman Jay Remy says his district knew the other districts were having trouble, and was aware that the joint application would fall apart without the agreements.

“We knew that it was not a done deal yet,” Remy says. “We were hopeful that it would come together, but we knew that there was this risk involved in it.”

Remy says Salem-Keizer’s potential share was about seven and a half million dollars.

Teacher unions have questioned the requirements and priorities of the Race to the Top funds since the program began four years ago.

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