School Districts Lose Competition, Get Grant Money Anyway

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010 - 5:26pm

EL PASO- The odds were pretty good.  Two local school districts were among 5 nationwide in line for a million dollar prize.

Neither district took home the prize but they still consider themselves winners.

Anticipation this morning, as the Socorro School District waited to hear the results.  They were one of five finalists for the Broad Education Prize, a million dollar grant given to just one school district.

Not too far away in the Ysleta ISD Atrium, a similar scene.  A webcast from New York brought the event to each party live and told each they didn't win.

"It's disappointing, you know a million dollars for scholarships would be great," said Principal Lucy Borrego.

But brief disappointment turned into optimism, mainly because they didn't go home empty handed.

Both districts received quarter-million dollar grants to go to students in need.

"This is the first time ever that two school districts have been selected in El Paso, so it's a win win for El Paso students because that means that half-a-million dollars is going to help them go to college," said Patricia Ayala of the Ysleta ISD.

Reps from both districts were in New York for the event, where Mike Bloomberg, and NBC's Brian Williams spoke to the crowd.

Both districts say not winning makes for great motivation to keep trying. 

"We were all saying in there next year, next year, next year, and it's a lot of work on our part," said Borrego.

Encouraging words for students who can't afford college on their own.

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