At the most recent Griffin-Spalding County Board of Education meeting, Assistant Superintendent Denise Burrell laid out a plan on how the local school system intends to spend the approximately $3.1 million it was awarded earlier this month through the federal Race to the Top program.
The money, which is split up somewhat evenly over the four years of the program, will go toward incentive pay, an improved data system and the anticipated turn-around of the system’s two lowest-achieving schools — Cowan Road Middle and Griffin High — among other areas.
The Race to the Top grant will allow the system to pay for a graduation coach at Griffin High for three years, beginning with the 2011-2012 school year, when current funds run out.
It will also pay for a math coach in the 2013-2014 school year, when Griffin High’s School Improvement Grant (SIG) will expire.
At Cowan Road Middle, funds are allocated to help the school make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) during the next school year, which would take Cowan Road Middle off its “Needs Improvement” status.
The school system also plans to implement a Web-based balanced score card that will allow the measuring of student growth quarterly and annually.
The incentive pay is proposed at $1.3 million for teachers who sign on for meeting certain requirements that come with it, such as improving student performance. It is not geared toward hiring new teachers, said Burrell.
“We are just excited,” she said in reference to the $3.1 million the school system will receive, adding that money is specifically designed for programs that can be sustained after Race to the Top.
The school system’s proposal has been sent to the Georgia Department of Education for approval, though Burrell expects the state department to first provide feedback by making suggestions and asking for clarification. While this can only make the proposal stronger, Burrell said, it might mean that final approval may not be given until some time in December.
The actual money will ultimately be released by the U.S. Department of Education.