Education Funding

Handicappers Busy on New Race to Top

By Michele McNeil — September 20, 2011 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

When the scores came in for last year’s $3.4 billion first round of the Race to the Top, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan was reportedly dismayed that Colorado and Louisiana had been left out of the winners’ circle.

Now, with a $200 million round, Mr. Duncan has a chance to make it up to those two states.

Proposed rules released Sept. 7, which are open for public comment until Oct. 12, spell out how the nine finalists can get a piece of that smaller Race to the Top jackpot. And unlike the first two rounds of the competition, there will be no outside judges—this time, it’s up to the Education Department to pick.

That means there are clear favorites, and not-so-favorites. The runners-up last time were Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina.

In addition to Colorado and Louisiana, Illinois could join the favorites category. After all, Mr. Duncan praised his home state in May for doing “something truly remarkable” after the legislature passed a sweeping bill altering how the state’s teachers are hired, evaluated, and granted tenure.

Now for the underdogs. The department pretty much wrote South Carolina out of the competition—not that Superintendent of Education Mick Zais was going to apply, anyway. To qualify for the money, states must have met the maintenance-of-effort requirements of the Education Jobs Fund program created by Congress last year, which requires states to keep their own funding for K-12 and higher education at certain levels. South Carolina couldn’t meet that requirement and did not end up with any education jobs money.

A second eligibility requirement could affect California. States must satisfy the data-systems requirements that were part of the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, the $40 billion-plus pot of money that shores up state budgets from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. That includes having a system that allows officials to link individual student data to individual teachers. In August, California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed $2.1 million in federal funding for a data system for tracking teacher characteristics.

Note to the hopefuls: If states don’t apply, that means more money for everyone else.

A version of this article appeared in the September 21, 2011 edition of Education Week as Handicappers Busy on New Race to Top

Events

School Climate & Safety K-12 Essentials Forum Strengthen Students’ Connections to School
Join this free event to learn how schools are creating the space for students to form strong bonds with each other and trusted adults.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Creating Confident Readers: Why Differentiated Instruction is Equitable Instruction
Join us as we break down how differentiated instruction can advance your school’s literacy and equity goals.
Content provided by Lexia Learning
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
IT Infrastructure & Management Webinar
Future-Proofing Your School's Tech Ecosystem: Strategies for Asset Tracking, Sustainability, and Budget Optimization
Gain actionable insights into effective asset management, budget optimization, and sustainable IT practices.
Content provided by Follett Learning

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Funding What New School Spending Data Show About a Coming Fiscal Cliff
New data show just what COVID-relief funds did to overall school spending—and the size of the hole they might leave in school budgets.
4 min read
Photo illustration of school building and piggy bank.
F. Sheehan for Education Week + iStock / Getty Images Plus
Education Funding When There's More Money for Schools, Is There an 'Objective' Way to Hand It Out?
A fight over the school funding formula in Mississippi is kicking up old debates over how to best target aid.
7 min read
Illustration of many roads and road signs going in different directions with falling money all around.
iStock/Getty
Education Funding Explainer How Can Districts Get More Time to Spend ESSER Dollars? An Explainer
Districts can get up to 14 additional months to spend ESSER dollars on contracts—if their state and the federal government both approve.
4 min read
Illustration of woman turning back hands on clock.
Education Week + iStock / Getty Images Plus Week
Education Funding Education Dept. Sees Small Cut in Funding Package That Averted Government Shutdown
The Education Department will see a reduction even as the funding package provides for small increases to key K-12 programs.
3 min read
President Joe Biden delivers a speech about healthcare at an event in Raleigh, N.C., on March 26, 2024.
President Joe Biden delivers a speech about health care at an event in Raleigh, N.C., on March 26. Biden signed a funding package into law over the weekend that keeps the federal government open through September but includes a slight decrease in the Education Department's budget.
Matt Kelley/AP