Blog

Your Education Road Map

Politics K-12®

ESSA. Congress. State chiefs. School spending. Elections. Education Week reporters keep watch on education policy and politics in the nation’s capital and in the states. Read more from this blog.

Education Funding

Race to Top Consolation Prize: $200M for STEM

By Michele McNeil — November 16, 2011 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

UPDATED

The U.S. Department of Education has now spelled out what the nine runner-up finalists from last year’s Race to the Top competition must do to get a piece of the $200 million consolation prize.

[UPDATE, 11/17, 12:20 p.m.] This new money, which makes for a third round of the Obama administration’s signature education-reform initiative, must be spent on a piece of a state’s second-round Race to the Top proposal that seeks to advance the state’s comprehensive reform agenda, according to the department. Importantly, though, a state must make the case that whatever it chooses will also improve STEM education. STEM, or science, technology, engineering, and math, has become an important priority for the Obama administration, and most recently, was a big beneficiary of the latest round of Investing in Innovation grants. For this latest round of Race to the Top, grant money doesn’t necessarily have to be spent on STEM programs, it’s just that a state must identify an area to focus on that will also benefit STEM (such as raising standards in all subjects).

For states to qualify, according to the rules the department put out today, they must meet nine requirements or “assurances”. For one thing, they must be in compliance with maintenance-of-effort requirements in the Education Jobs Fund, which already means South Carolina (if it had even wanted the money) wouldn’t be eligible.

The state also has to be in compliance with certain requirements regarding its data system under the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, a one-time pot of federal stimulus aid. (Could California be in trouble for this?)

There must also be no firewall between student and individual teacher data. Also, a state has to maintain any laws and rules that it used to beef up its original round-two Race to the Top application around teacher evaluations, school turnarounds, expanding charter schools, and adopting common standards and assessments. So no backtracking allowed.

In addition, the application must be signed by the governor, the state schools’ chief, and the president of the state’s board of education.

The funding comes from the fiscal 2011 budget deal Congress reached earlier this year. A separate $500 million pot of money was set aside for an early-learning version of Race to the Top.

Awards will be based on the size of a state’s student population, and will range from $12 million to $49 million. If every one of last year’s finalists applied, which isn’t likely, this is how the awards would be broken down: $12.25 million for Colorado, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Kentucky; $17.5 million for Arizona; $28 million for Illinois, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey; and $49 million for California.

That’s not a lot of money for so many strings attached, but, for states that are plowing ahead with the education-reform agenda they spelled out in Race to the Top, it might be easy money.

The application process will be in two steps. States have until Nov. 22 to file proof that they meet all of those assurances. If the Education Department agrees, then states have until Dec. 16 to make their pitches for STEM projects.

Related Tags:

Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

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
Teaching Webinar
What’s Next for Teaching and Learning? Key Trends for the New School Year
The past 18 months changed the face of education forever, leaving teachers, students, and families to adapt to unprecedented challenges in teaching and learning. As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and
Content provided by Instructure
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
Curriculum Webinar
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
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
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

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 Interactive Look Up How Much COVID Relief Aid Your School District is Getting
The federal government gave schools more than $190 billion to help them recover from the pandemic. But the money was not distributed evenly.
2 min read
Education Funding Explainer Everything You Need to Know About Schools and COVID Relief Funds
How much did your district get in pandemic emergency aid? When must the money be spent? Is there more on the way? EdWeek has the answers.
11 min read
090221 Stimulus Masks AP BS
Dezirae Espinoza wears a face mask while holding a tube of cleaning wipes as she waits to enter Garden Place Elementary School in Denver for the first day of in-class learning since the start of the pandemic.
David Zalubowski/AP
Education Funding Why Dems' $82 Billion Proposal for School Buildings Still Isn't Enough
Two new reports highlight the severe disrepair the nation's school infrastructure is in and the crushing district debt the lack of federal and state investment has caused.
4 min read
Founded 55 years ago, Foust Elementary received its latest update 12-25 years ago for their HVAC units. If the school receives funds from the Guilford County Schools bond allocation, they will expand classrooms from the back of the building.
Community members in Guilford, N.C. last week protested the lack of new funding to improve the district's crumbling school facilities.
Abby Gibbs/News & Record via AP
Education Funding Can Governors Really Take Money From Schools Over Masks?
State leaders are using the threat of funding cuts as a weapon in the mask debate—but it's not clear if they can or will follow through.
7 min read
Conceptual image of hundred dollar bills with some of the images of Benjamin Franklin masked.
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and iStock