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      South Carolina plans to shun federal school money

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- South Carolina's Republican education chief says the state will not seek millions of federal dollars for its public schools.

      Education Superintendent Mick Zais said Wednesday that money offered through the Race to the Top grant program amounts to federal intrusion in state schools. He says more Washington money won't solve South Carolina's education problems and urged a decentralized education policy.

      Zais made his declaration as the Obama administration announced it is offering South Carolina and eight other states a shot at grants of up to $50 million. South Carolina was offered the chance to apply because it narrowly missed out during earlier rounds of grants.

      That application was made under former schools chief Jim Rex, who is a Democrat.

      Several other states have declined to apply for the grants.

      (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

      Do you agree with Zais or does South Carolina need the federal funding? Leave a comment below to weigh in with your thoughts.