Today the U.S. Department of Education announced that 893 potential applicants have submitted their intent to apply for the 2012 Race to the Top-District program, which will provide close to $400 million to support local reforms that will personalize learning, close achievement gaps and prepare each student for college and their careers. The response follows the launch of the competition earlier this month.
“I believe the best ideas come from leaders at the local level, and the enthusiastic response to the Race to the Top-District competition highlights the excitement that districts have to engage in locally designed reforms that will directly improve student achievement and educator effectiveness,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “We hope to build on this nationwide momentum by funding districts that have innovative plans to transform the learning environment, a clear vision for reform and a track record of success.”
The Race to the Top-District competition invites applicants to demonstrate how they can personalize education for all students and is aimed squarely at classrooms and the all-important relationship between teachers and students. The competition will encourage transformative change within schools, providing school leaders and teachers with key tools and support in order to best meet their students’ needs.
The Department has posted the list of those who have indicated their intent to apply on its website: www.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-district. The list includes all those who submitted an intent to apply and does not indicate their eligibility for the competition. The intent to apply is not binding, and the information collected will be used by the Department primarily to develop an efficient process for reviewing grant applications. Potential applicants that did not submit an intent to apply may still apply for funding
The Department plans to support high-quality proposals from applicants across a variety of districts, including rural and non-rural districts as well as those already participating in a Race to the Top state grant and districts not participating. These 4-year awards will range from $5 million to $40 million, depending on the population of students served through the plan. The Department is expecting to make 15-25 awards.
More information can be found at: www.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-district. Applications are due Oct. 30, with awards being announced no later than Dec. 31, 2012.