Ohio schools receive millions in federal funds

By Kimberly Holmes – bio | email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19)  - The Ohio Department of Education just received hundreds of millions of dollars in federal money this week. It's all a part of the Race to the Top Challenge.

Ohio was named a winner Tuesday in Phase two of the competition for federal education reform dollars.

Second grader Rickia Stevens works hard with dad to get a leg up on her homework. Her father Donovan spends hours every week helping her learn. Rickia attends school within the CPS district. This year, Stevens hopes district leaders will implement some big changes. That's because CPS, like 534 other Ohio districts, will receive a share of $400-million in federal funding.

State education leaders proposed how each participating district will spend the allocated money in its application, but they're still waiting to find out exactly how they can spend the money.

CPS will receive the largest chunk-- nearly $13 million-- over four years. Districts like Fairfield City will get about $535,000 for the same period, and Winton Woods will receive $493,000.

So while a lot of parents are hoping the money can bring some Tri-state districts out of the red.. It'll help, but it's definitely not a cure-all. For instance, Lakota Local School District will receive nearly $330,000 over four years. Right now, the district is facing a $28-million deficit.

Still, local parents have a good idea about where they'd like to see the money go.

"First of all, I would give teachers better training," Stevens said.

Angela Walker would like to see the district buy more books, among other things.

"With the new books, they would be able to learn more," said Walker. "And just remodel the schools. Instead of closing them down and leaving them there. Fix them back up. Let the kids go back to their schools."

"Add better curriculum to the Cincinnati Public Schools," said Stevens. "It seems like surrounding townships and different cities have better curriculum than Cincinnati Public Schools have."

Both parents are on the right track. The money is already earmarked for new teaching models, teacher training and other academic activities. It can't be used for buses, buildings or bringing back support staff, but the funds can be spent on teachers.

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