G-ASD passes on seeking grant


The Greencastle-Antrim School District was one of 380 among 500 Pennsylvania districts that did not apply for a federal Race to the Top grant.

Fannett-Metal was the only local school district to submit an application for the educational grant, which will be awarded at the state level. The grant of $4.3 billion will be divided up among states undergoing education reform, with release dates of April and September. Forty states and the District of Columbia are in the running.

Superintendent C. Gregory Hoover said the initial Memorandum of Understanding had to be signed by three parties, the administration, school board president and president of the teachers’ association. Hoover felt the grant documents left many unanswered questions. He had collected additional information and attended a webinar to learn more details on recipient requirements. He and board president Arnie Jansen would have been willing to sign on anyway, he said, once the teachers did.

However, the Greencastle-Antrim Education Association declined to sign the application.

Hoover said the paperwork came out just before Christmas break with a Jan. 19 deadline. “It hinged on the association response; that guided our path. I was willing to take a chance.”

GAEA president Tony Waggoner did not respond to a request for comment by presstime.

Applications are processed through the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Expected results from the grant are tying teacher and principal pay and assignments to student achievement, adopting benchmark academic standards, turning around low performing schools, building student tracking systems and allowing more charter schools.