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).
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