Will the Fresno Unified School District miss out on millions of dollars in grant money?
The Fresno Teachers Association won't sign off on a grant application for 'race to the top' funding.
The district called an unusual last minute Friday night press conference, to make the thick document public, and express shock and disappointment over the FTA’s decision.
Hanson says a single signature was required to apply for more than $37 million dollars from the federal government's "race to the top" funds.
“This is as big a deal to let slip through our fingers as anything I can imagine,” said Superintendent Michael Hanson.
“An attempt to take multiple grade levels of the organization and redesign them in collaboration with the teacher's union,” explained Hanson.
But the Fresno Teacher's Association says it needed more time to review the 191 page document.
“It doesn't make sense to sign a bad document that you haven't gotten to read the whole thing because if some hidden wording, we have to follow it,” said FTA Vice President Greg Gadams.
FTA Vice President Greg Gadams says the board never had the full document to say yes or no to until Friday afternoon.
Monday is the deadline to submit the grant application.
Hanson says educators and an outside consulting firm spent hundreds of man-hours developing it, with the intention of helping 26 thousand students in grades Pre-K through third.
“This was an opportunity for us to go after already budgeted federal dollars to bring home to our city...as we've all read the second poorest urban area in America,” said Hanson.
“The Department of Education has dangled money before. This isn't the first application we signed… the previous one and the state didn't get it accepted from federal government,” said Gadams.