Missouri education changes not dependent on grant

Thursday, January 21, 2010 | 8:25 a.m. CST; updated 9:27 a.m. CST, Thursday, January 21, 2010

JEFFERSON CITY— The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is ready to make some changes, whether or not it receives a $743 million federal grant.

Commissioner of Education Chris Nicastro said Wednesday that the department plans to restructure even if the state isn't approved for the "Race to the Top" grant. If the grant comes through, Nicastro said half the money would go directly to schools and about $150 millionwould go to help expand broadband Internet access across the state.

Nicastro said Missouri could still implement many changes by redirecting funds from other programs. Changes include implementing tougher standards for charter schools, aligning graduation and college entrance requirements and quick intervention for failing schools.

The department expects to receive notification about the grant April 1.


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