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Hawaii Awarded First Goals 2000 Planning Grant

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Washington

Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley last week awarded Hawaii education officials more than $400,000, the first education-reform planning grant to be distributed under the new Goals 2000: Educate America Act.

Mr. Riley made the announcement at Princess Miriam K. Likelike Elementary School in Honolulu. He was visiting the state to head the U.S. delegation at a meeting of North American and Asian-Pacific political and education leaders sponsored by the Education Commission of the States.

Hawaii will receive $409,227 to develop a school-improvement plan over the next year. A total of $86.5 million in planning funds is available to states in fiscal 1994, and the Administration plans to request additional financing to support implementation of the plans.

Seven other applications for planning money were awaiting approval as of last week.

Applications are due by June 30, 1995. But Gordon M. Ambach, the executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers, predicted that most states will submit them within the next six weeks.

Funds for Schools, Consortia

The Hawaii application provides the first glimpse of how states are responding to President Clinton's Goals 2000 initiative.

While the Education Department distributed a simple, four-page application, Hawaii turned in a 20-page document, plus addenda on a state technology plan and technology for teachers that surpassed 100 pages.

In the application, state officials said that a panel--modeled on a broad-based, 150-member commission that developed state education goals and objectives in 1990--will create the state's reform plan.

The Goals 2000 law requires that states distribute 60 percent of their first-year funding as subgrants to school districts, which are to develop their own plans.

Since Hawaii's education system operates as a single district, the state will make subgrants beginning next summer to consortia of state agencies, universities, and other organizations that will work on teacher education and professional development, and to clusters of schools that will adopt reforms outlined in the state plan.

The application also indicates that subgrant money may be used to pay for state reform initiatives that the legislature has enacted but not financed. Some critics have warned that Goals 2000 could become a general-aid program for financially strapped states.

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