The state of Ohio's plan to implement its winning, $400 million Race to the Top grant appears to have become a lot more complicated.
A number of school districts have backed out of the state's plan, citing concerns about the costs it would bring to them. (We explored the challenges to local implementation in a story last month.) And Republican Governor-in-Waiting John Kasich's desire to dismantle outgoing Gov. Ted Strickland's school-funding model could also pose a big-time kink. Strickland says Kasich's plans would undermine the spirit of state's Race to the Top plan—a message he apparently conveyed to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in a phone call, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Kasich counters that he supports the core elements of the Race to the Top plan, because he backs charter schools and new approaches to teacher evaluation—and that Strickland's education agenda was peripheral to the state's winning bid.
The final call on that question, it seems, would belong to Arne Duncan.