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Education Department to announce Race to the Top winners

By Sally Holland, CNN
States will learn on Tuesday whether they will get a portion of $3.4 billion for their approaches to improving education.
States will learn on Tuesday whether they will get a portion of $3.4 billion for their approaches to improving education.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The Education Department has $3.4 billion in its Race to the Top competition
  • Round two draws applications from 35 states and the District of Columbia
  • The number is whittled to 19 finalists
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Washington (CNN) -- The U.S. Education Department is set to announce the winners in the second round of its Race to the Top competition on Tuesday.

The contest grants a portion of $3.4 billion to states that have provided plans to put their education systems in line with the department's school reform goals.

Thirty-five states and the District of Columbia turned in applications for the second round. That number was whittled down to 19 finalists a few months ago.

The 19 finalists then sent representatives to Washington to make their case in front of a group of peer reviewers and education department officials over the summer.

The 19 finalists are: Arizona, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and South Carolina.

The applications for Race to the Top are ranked based on four main criteria that drive school reforms: turning around low performing schools, adopting college and career-ready standards, having effective teachers and principals, and using data systems to support student achievement.

The entire Race to the Top fund totaled $4.35 billion at the beginning of the program last fall. In the first round, Tennessee received a grant of $500 million and Delaware was granted $100 million to be awarded over the next four years. Another $350 million went for the assessment competition, according to the Education Department.

That leaves over $3.4 billion in the fund to be granted on Tuesday.

In hopes of funding more grants for Phase 2, the Department of Education announced that they would be limiting the amount that any given state can receive. The limits are based on the student population of that state.

So, large states like California, New York and Florida can receive as much as $700 million, while smaller states like New Mexico, Hawaii and the District of Columbia are limited to $75 million.

 
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