Almost 900 districts have submitted their intent to apply for the Race to the Top districts grants, which will provide in total $400 million to local school districts that are making strives to personalize learning, close achievement gaps and prepare each student for college and their careers. The application process will focus on programs and policies that personalize education for their students and pay particular attention to the relationship between students and teachers.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, the Race to the Top Districts grant competition is seeking Local Education Agencies (LEAs) that have the policies and infrastructure in place to improve student outcomes by deepening and accelerating each student’s learning. The application process will also look for equality and access in LEA applications, with a focus on achieving career or college readiness for each student regardless of background.
The intent to apply is not mandatory or binding. For more information on the application process, please click here. The final applications are due October 30. To see a list of districts which have submitted intent to apply, please click here.
The Race to the Top competition for school districts comes after the Administration’s $4.35 billion program for states. To date, 11 states and the District of Columbia have received Race to the Top grants which have spurred both controversy for some of their requirements (i.e. tying student achievement to teacher evaluation) and appreciation for additional funding during difficult economic times (see state annual performance reports here).
As the cornerstone of the Obama Administration’s education agenda, CEC has provided feedback to policymakers, highlighting considerations for special education and the professionals who work on behalf of students with disabilities (see related stories here).