States Apply for Third Round of Race to the Top Funds

A press release by the Department of Education has revealed that seven of the nine states that have made it through to round three of Race to the Top have submitted applications for a cut of the $200 million that has been made available by congress.

The states that have applied for the funds to boost reform are – Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

As reported at Education News earlier in the month, nine states made it through to the third round of the Race to the Top competition – the two states that didn't follow through with their applications were South Carolina, who opted out, and California who submitted an incomplete, and therefore invalid, application.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan was happy that the seven successful applicants were able to get their applications in on time given such tight time frame:

"These states really want to drive reform, and we are thrilled to be able to support their work. We share their sense of urgency and their belief that education is the path to shared prosperity and a stronger economy."

The applications are in two parts. The first part was submitted this week and it includes a portfolio of assurances of state funding for education and efforts to raise academic standards that confirm their commitment to comprehensively reform education across their state with a commitment to enhance data systems, raise academic standards, improve principal and teacher support and evaluation systems and implement school interventions in under-performing schools.

Applicants must then provide a detailed plan and budget explaining how the selected reform effort will have a broader impact in supporting student learning and improving STEM education. This will be expected by December 16.

The amount of money a state can apply for is proportioned to its size.

Colorado, Louisiana and Kentucky are in for $12.25 million, $17.5 million for Arizona and $28 million for Illinois, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The Race to the Top competition has been a catalyst for reform and widespread participation with 46 states and the District of Columbia submitting applications between rounds one and two.

The Round Three awards will be announced in late December.

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