From The Washington Post: Fifteen states and the District of Columbia have been selected as finalists in the Obama administration's $4 billion "Race to the Top" school reform competititon. The finalists are: Colorado, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Tennessee. Twenty-five state applicants were sent back to the drawing board. They will in all likelihood apply for a share of the money in a second round. That deadline is in June.
JANUARY 2010...from The Houston Chronicle: Texas school districts might have a shot at federal Race to the Top grant money after all. President Barack Obama has announced that he would seek $1.35 billion in next year's budget to expand the $4 billion grant contest and let individual school districts — instead of just states — apply. Obama says opening up the contest would help "innovative districts like the one in Texas whose reform efforts are being stymied by state decision-makers."
ALSO...from the U.S. Department of Education: 40 states and the District of Columbia submitted applications to compete in Phase 1 of Race to the Top.Earlier...from The New York Times: The Obama administration’s main school improvement initiative, Race to the Top, has spurred education policy changes in states across the nation, but it is meeting with some last-minute resistance as the first deadline for applications arrives. Thousands of school districts in California, Ohio and other states have declined to participate, and teachers’ unions in Michigan, Minnesota and Florida have recommended that their local units not sign on to their states’ applications.
ALSO...from The Los Angeles Times: President Obama will ask Congress for $1.35 billion in his 2011 budget proposal to extend the "Race to the Top" education grant program for states.