The U.S. Department of Education announced today that seven states eligible for Race to the Top Round 3 (RTT3) funds have submitted complete applications for a share of $200 million provided by Congress in 2010 to help drive reform. They include Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
Nine states that were runners-up in the initial Race to the Top competition were eligible for RTT3, but South Carolina opted out and California submitted an incomplete application.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan saluted the seven successful applicants for their hard work on a tight time frame saying, “These states really want to drive reform, and we are thrilled to be able to support their work. We share their sense of urgency and their belief that education is the path to shared prosperity and a stronger economy.”
The applications include commitments to enhance data systems, raise academic standards, improve principal and teacher support and evaluation systems and implement school interventions in under-performing schools. By Dec. 16, applicants also have to provide a detailed narrative and budget.
Race to the Top Round Three focuses on supporting efforts to leverage comprehensive statewide reform, while also improving science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. Round Three awards will be announced in late-December. Award amounts within the $200 million fund are based on state population.