Two weeks ago, the nine finalists for the Race-to-the-Top grants were able to begin the application process for the $200 million available through round three. These applications will be tailored to focus on an aspect of their Race-to-the-Top plans which will include investments in advancing science, technology and mathematics. The first part of the application will consist of assurances of commitment to education reform in their state, while the second part (once the first is approved) will consist of detailed action plan and budget. The deadline for the first part is November 22, and the deadline for the second part is December 16. The awards will be announced in late December.
Due to the funds available, the nine round two finalist states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina) will be eligible to receive awards for between $12 and $49 million, depending on the population. The Race-to-the-Top grants are part of an education reform initiative announced by President Obama to spark ingenuity in education reform, and it is a program the administration hopes to continue to fund in the 2012 budget with a $900 million district-level grant competition.