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California loses federal funds for teacher database

The $6-million grant must be returned because the governor cut funding from the state budget for the program to track teacher and administrator information.

August 05, 2011|By Jason Song, Los Angeles Times

The California Department of Education must return a $6-million federal grant intended to help develop a database to track teacher and administrator information, officials said Thursday.

The funds had been earmarked for the data system, which would have collected such information as which courses a teacher had taught and what credentials he or she held. Gov. Jerry Brown cut $2.1 million for the program from the state budget, although he did not ax any funding for a similar database for students.

Brown has said that he believes school districts can keep track of some of their own data.

The Obama administration has made using data to evaluate educators and drive policy decisions a key component for states to receive some kinds of federal aid; some California lawmakers and policymakers had warned that Brown's cuts could lead to less money from Washington.

But the state will not have to scramble to find funding to replace the grant because it was to be used only for the teacher database, known as CalTIDES, a spokeswoman for the governor said.

California officials had been warned that they might have to return the money and tried unsuccessfully to persuade federal officials to let them use the funds for other projects, she said.

jason.song@latimes.com

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