Topeka Kansas failed to be selected as a finalist in the first round of the federal “Race to the Top” education reform program, officials said Thursday.
“Though this is not the news we expected, we will submit an application during Phase II of the competition,” said Kansas Interim Education Commissioner Diane DeBacker.
“We are confident that we are strong competitors to receive this funding, and we will continue to pursue this award,” DeBacker said.
“Race to the Top” grants are awarded for innovation in the public schools. It is the largest federal competition for grants, and will total $4.35 billion.
Kansas applied for $166 million that would be split between school districts and the state Department of Education to implement 31 projects.
Forty states, including Kansas, and the District of Columbia applied during the first round.
The U.S. Department of Education named 16 finalists: Colorado, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Tennessee.
The winners will be chosen in April, and a second round of applications accepted in June, which is when Kansas will re-submit its bid.