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Georgia is finalist for education funds
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Georgia has been named one of 16 finalists in the first round of the Race to the Top competition, the U.S. Secretary of Education announced Thursday. Along with 14 states and the District of Columbia, Georgia scored in the 400-plus range to remain in the running for a piece of a nearly $5 billion pie.
“We said from the beginning that we were going to set the bar high,” Secretary Arne Duncan said. “Everyone is helping chart the path to education reform in America.”
According to the Department of Education, Race to the Top funding, given in the form of multi-year grants, is intended to help states reform education in key areas:
• Adopting standards and assessments that prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace and to compete in the global economy
• Building data systems that measure student growth and success, and inform teachers and principals about how they can improve instruction
• Recruiting, developing, rewarding and retaining effective teachers and principals, especially where they are needed most
• Turning around our lowest-achieving schools
Duncan said of the $4.35 billion slated for first-round winners, $2 billion or less is expected to be disbursed. He added that he hopes the 25 non-finalists who applied for first-round funding will come back to participate in the round two, and that hopefully by working with Congress the department will be able to fund a third round of competition.
“Race to the Top is a competition — only the best proposals will win,” Duncan said.
The winners of the first-round Race to the Top will be announced in April.
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