West Point among Race to the Top money recipients

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By Kelly Cantrall

Shortly after its finalist status was announced, the Green River Regional Educational Cooperative learned it is part of a small pool of groups to receive federal money.

The cooperative will receive a portion of the 2012 Race to the Top money. West Point Independent School is one of the districts that will benefit.

The cooperative was one of 16 applicants chosen. Applicants represent 55 school districts from 11 states, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Education. Applicants will receive almost $400 million for their plans to personalize education for students and prepare them for college and careers.

The cooperative is expected to receive about $40 million, according to the news release.

Applicants submitted proposals containing plans to use the money pursuing the Race to the Top goals. The plan the cooperative submitted includes improvements at each school to help students understand their role in the education process. The money allows the co-op to support districts and provide staffing as it works to ensure students understand the benefits of school.

GRREC Executive Director George Wilson said personalizing education can show students a clear path to future opportunities.

West Point Independent Superintendent Pamela Stephens said she and others in the district are excited about the success of the proposal. She’s hopeful about the process of personalizing education.

“I like the philosophy that we’re not looking at school as a place that kids are expected to be every day, but there’s a purpose” to the attendance, she said. But she’s especially happy to see the money for the plan.

“It’s wonderful to have plans, but it’s nice to know that there will be some money tied to that,” she said.

Twenty-two districts of the 27 in the co-op participated.

Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747 or kcantrall@thenewsenterprise.com.