It appears that Wake County school leaders were right when they said they were just short last year in winning a federal magnet school grant.
As noted in today’s article, Wake will get $9.6 million over the next three years to help the new programs at Carroll Middle School and Fox Road and Green elementary schools and the revised programs at Moore Square Middle School and Poe Elementary School.
Last year, Wake had requested $12 million over three years from the federal Magnet Schools Assistance Program. But Wake was not among the 27 districts chosen last September to share in $89.8 million over three years.
In January, Cathy Moore, Wake’s deputy superintendent for school performance, blamed the federal sequestration for Wake not getting the grant.
Moore pointed to how President Obama requested $99.6 million for the MSAP grants. Congress approved $96.7 million. After the sequester, it was reduced to $91.6 million.
“Our grant was competitive and close,” Moore said in January. “In a year where they got full funding it might have been different.”
Fast forward a year later to the Education Department’s decision to give Wake some grant money.
“Wake County was not one of the original 27 grantees that won money in this 2013 competition,” said Dorie Nolt, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Education Department. “But after we made continuation grant awards this year for the winners, we had money left over that we were able to give to Wake County.”
The receipt of this award could make the 2010 decision by the feds to reject Wake’s magnet grant during the middle of the heated debate over student assignment and busing for diversity stand out even more.