July 29, 2013

SENATOR HIRONO CELEBRATES HAWAII NO LONGER BEING AT “HIGH RISK” OF LOSING $75 MILLION IN EDUCATION FUNDING

U.S. Department Of Education Announced Today That State’s Progress Has Led Feds To Remove “High Risk” Status

Washington, D.C. - Senator Mazie K. Hirono released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) removed the state’s Race to the Top grant from “high risk” status. This means the state is no longer at “high risk” of losing $75 million in federal education funding through the U.S. Department of Education’s Race to the Top reform initiative.

“This is tremendous news for Hawaii’s students, parents, and teachers,” said Hirono. “Our work is not over, but this announcement is the clearest sign to date that our schools are moving in the right direction. I will continue to work closely with the U.S. Department of Education, the Hawaii Department of Education, teachers, parents, students, and community groups to ensure Hawaii schools continue to improve.”

In December 2011, the U.S. Department of Education put the grant on “high-risk” status in three of five critical areas. After significant progress, the Hawaii congressional delegation urged the USDOE to remove Hawaii from “high risk” status. Hawaii was originally awarded the funds in August 2010 to improve student achievement throughout Hawaii. The Hawaii Department of Education has already used portions of the Race to the Top funding for teacher training, technology, developing college- and career-ready standards, data to track student progress and intervene early and intensive supports in high-need schools.