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Seven states split third round of Race to the Top funds

Deltek Sr. Analyst Kyle Ridley reports.

Today, the Department of Education (DOE) awarded federal Race to the Top (RTTT) funds to the tune of $200 million split among seven states. This is the third round of awards for the $4 billion program aimed at revitalizing America’s K-12 education system through reform and innovation. The latest batch of winners includes:

  • Arizona – $25.1 million
  • Colorado – $17.9 million
  • Illinois – $42.8 million
  • Kentucky – $17 million
  • Louisiana -$17.5 million
  • Pennsylvania – $41.3 million
  • New Jersey – $37.9 million

The seven states were all finalists in last year’s competition, in which 12 states split $3.4 billion. Nine runners-up were eligible to compete, but South Carolina opted out, and California’s application was deemed incomplete.

While this round’s $200 million is a steep drop from last year’s $3.4 billion in distributed funds, the Department of Education hopes states will still pursue many of their original initiatives such as raising academic standards/scores; improving teacher-evaluation systems; and boosting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) instruction. Top priorities for the newly-awarded states include:

Arizona: The state’s education reform plan, “Arizona Ready,” includes the establishment of five regional education centers with coordinators and content specialists hired to oversee operations; transitioning to Common Core State Standards (CCSS); and improving data systems. The state will also pursue IT initiatives to support course mapping and student-teacher-data link processes.

Colorado: The state recently established a Race to the Top office to assist in overseeing education reform, which will include transitioning to college- and career-ready standards; improving educator effectiveness; advancing STEM education; and adopting a new educator evaluation system (Deltek Opportunity 65254).

For the complete blog, go here.

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