Hawaii education leaders fight for federal dollars

Acting Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi
Acting Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi

WASHINGTON (HawaiiNewsNow) - Early Tuesday morning at our nation's capitol, Hawaii education leaders made one of the most important presentations of their careers. The group, led by acting superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi, tried to convince federal officials that Hawaii deserves $75 million in "Race to the Top" funding.

Matayoshi says she felt the pressure when she presented Hawaii's pitch for nearly $75 million in Washington DC Tuesday morning. Hawaii is one of 18 finalists hoping to secure money for states struggling with smaller budgets.

Matayoshi says the money would be used to extend classroom time for Hawaii's students and give teachers more of a chance to collaborate. The Hawaii delegation of seven presented their case in 40 minutes and then answered a grueling hour of questions.

"They were interested in understanding a little more about Hawaii. I think we're different because we're the only state that's a single district state" said Matayoshi.

Matayoshi said she thinks Hawaii's unique single district status will actually benefit the state's case for the funding, because administrators won't have to worry with coordinating among numerous school districts.

If Hawaii is awarded race to the top funding, we could see benefits as early as this school year. We should know by the end of the month.

More about this story on HawaiiNewsNow.com:

Hawaii named as finalist in 'Race to the Top' for education funding

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