Times are hard for school systems across the country, so why is the Jones County school district, refusing $1.3 million in Race to the Top federal funds? The school system, located southeast of Atlanta, claims the funding comes with stipulations, requiring that over half the money ($900,000) be spent on paying teachers based on merit, according to WMAZ-TV. The school board voted unanimously to reject the funds. The money was too targeted and restrictive to help the district, Superintendant William Mathews told the TV station. Mathews also explained that research does not show that paying teachers based on merit works.