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Seven States to Take Another Race to Top Shot

California isn't in the running, leaving more money available

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Seven states that narrowly missed getting a piece of the $4 billion in Race to the Top money in the last round of the federal grant competition are going for another shot. Nine states that scored high in the second round of the Race to the Top competition—but not quite high enough to win a grant—are eligible for this third round of funding, totaling $200 million.

The seven states that met the U.S. Department of Education's Nov. 23 application deadline are: Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. States will be eligible for grants based on their population.

Notably, California isn't in the running, which likely will mean more money for other states. California submitted an incomplete application, the department said. South Carolina, which has had a major turnover in leadership since its narrow miss last time, opted out of the competition this time around. South Carolina also didn't meet the maintenance-of-effort requirements for the Education Jobs Fund, a prerequisite for the competition.

The applicants in the latest round were required to submit data showing that they're continuing to work toward the four assurances (turning around low-performing schools, improving teacher quality, boosting standards and assessments, and bolstering data systems) outlined in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which spawned the Race to the Top program.

By mid-December, each of the seven applicants will have to submit a budget for how they would use the grant and identify which part of the Round 2 application they want the federal government to fund. In a new twist, they will also have to explain how their plan will help improve science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education.

The department will announce the winners of this round of Race to the Top funding by the end of the year.

Vol. 31, Issue 13, Page 5

Published in Print: December 7, 2011, as Seven States to Take Another Race to Top Shot
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