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We congratulate: New grant to help schools

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It's wonderful that OVEC has helped Shelby County Public Schools be part of a $40 million federal Race to the Top grant.

Thanks to some smart work by Leon Mooneyhan and the folks at the Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative, Shelby County students are about to have a chance to be a bit smarter themselves.

Mr. Mooneyhan and OVEC partnered with the Green river Regional Educational Cooperative to earn $40 million in federal Race to the Top grants for 23 school districts.

That’s a wonderful accomplishment in a state that had missed out entirely on earning a piece of one of those grants in 2011. The cooperatives’ cooperation worked well.

To taxpayers,  a slice of that $40 million may feel like a windfall for Shelby County Public Schools – and it certainly is a bonus for the development of educational programs – but don’t be thinking your bills are going down.

As Mr. Mooneyhan explained, the grant request calls for using these funds for new programs, for hiring up to 16 staffers at the cooperatives to implement training and support roles for the schools in those 23 districts.

Shelby County will benefit, to be sure, and the school district’s challenging but appropriate goal of having all students college or career ready at graduation should be enhanced by personnel dedicated to those goals.

Superintendent James Neihof and some members of the school board often talk about teacher and student enrichment, and although this grant won’t mean they can cut programs necessarily, they should be enhanced by an entirely new funding source.

No, our pocketbooks ultimately may not become less stressed, but the ultimate goal of preparing our students and helping our teachers prepare them certainly should improve.

We think OVEC’s deserves an A for effort.