Capitol News: Franken wants level playing field for rural school districts competing for “Race to the Top” education grants

U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) recently pressed U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan to create a level playing field for rural school districts in Minnesota and across the country competing for federal “Race to the Top” district-level education grants.

Sen. Franken, in a letter to Duncan, urged the Department of Education to provide technical assistance to rural districts that otherwise wouldn’t have the personnel or resources to take on the complex federal grant process.  He also pressed Duncan to permit several rural districts to join forces and apply for Race to the Top grants together.

“Rural school districts in Minnesota and across the country often can’t compete with larger school districts for these important federal grants because they lack the staff and other resources to do so,” said Sen. Franken. “We need to ensure that there’s a level playing field for all school districts – whether in rural, urban or suburban areas – when competing for these funds. The bottom line is that kids across Minnesota deserve access to a great education no matter where they live.”

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