Iredell-Statesville Schools edged out Charlotte-Mecklenburg and three other area districts in the quest for federal school reform money.
This week ISS and Guilford County were the only North Carolina school districts among 61 finalists for Race to the Top grants, designed to spur reform plans in local districts. North Carolina received a state Race to the Top grant in 2010.
The ISS proposal seeks $20 million over four years to improve digital learning and tailor lessons to individual students at nine middle schools and six high schools.
Competition for the $400 million available is fierce. The U.S. Department of Education got 372 applications, including 22 from North Carolina. CMS, Union County, Cabarrus County and Hickory didnt make the cut for finalists.
The Department of Education will select 15 to 25 winners from among the 61 finalists in December.
The CMS plan, which sought almost $30 million, focused on Harding, East Mecklenburg and West Charlotte high schools and 24 schools that feed into them. The plan called for better efforts to identify, reward and use high-performing teachers at all schools; a new math program at four middle schools; and a wrap-around system of services for students and families in the Harding zone.