Atlanta More than 13 million students and 1 million educators will share $3.4 billion from the second round of the federal “Race to the Top” grant competition, the U.S. Education Department said Tuesday.
The department chose nine states — Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Rhode Island — and the District of Columbia for the grants. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said 25,000 schools will get money to raise student learning and close the achievement gap.
The “Race to the Top” program, part of President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus plan, rewards states for taking up ambitious changes to improve struggling schools. The competition instigated a wave of reforms across the country, as states passed new teacher accountability policies and lifted caps on charter schools to boost their chances of winning.
“These states show what is possible when adults come together to do the right thing for children,” Duncan said in a conference call with reporters. “Every state that applied showed a tremendous amount of leadership and a bold commitment to education reform. The creativity and innovation in each of these applications is breathtaking.”