Fri., October 29, 2010 3:07pm (EDT)

School System Rejects Federal Money
By Josephine Bennett
Updated: 4 years ago

GRAY, GA  —  
One Middle Georgia school system is saying no to federal Race to the Top dollars. Jones County officials say the money, which targets failing schools, comes with too many strings attached.

State education officials say Jones County was the only one of 26 eligible systems to turn down a portion of 400-million dollars the state is getting from the federal government.

Jones County School Superintendent William Matthews says taking the 573-thousand dollars means financially rewarding teachers for student performance. And that, he says is not good for his school where everyone is responsible for academic success.

“To target individual teachers for cash rewards or for financial rewards just went against that philosophy and also goes against what I know about research on best practices.”

Matthews says he also had concerns about maintaining the changes once funding expires in four years.