Florida Among Winners of ‘Race to the Top’ Education Grants

Aug 24, 2010


The United States Department of Education announced today, August 24, 2010, that Florida, along with Georgia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Washington, D.C., has been selected from among 19 states to receive funding from the second round of the federal “Race to the Top” education innovation and reform competition.  Estimated at $700 million, Florida’s exact share of the $4.35 billion total grant amount is expected to be announced later today.

“Florida’s students, teachers and schools won a great victory today with the announcement of up to $700 million coming to the Sunshine State as a part of the federal Race to the Top competition,” said Florida Governor Charlie Crist in a statement issued by his office.  “Along with New York, Florida received the largest award and this funding will be dedicated to carrying out a broad range of strategies designed to improve our lowest performing schools, reward Florida teachers and increase the academic achievement of our students.

“I was honored to lead Florida’s delegation to Washington, D.C., to present Florida’s Race to the Top application,” Crist continued.  “Thanks to the Race to the Top Working Group for answering my call to come to consensus and strengthening our Memorandum of Understanding. As a result, Florida’s teachers and school leaders overwhelmingly supported the revised MOU, including 54 local teacher unions. This level of participation far exceeds the five local teacher unions who joined our efforts during Phase 1. I want to thank Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, who chaired the Working Group, and Andy Ford, the president of the Florida Education Association, for helping us achieve this tremendous level of consensus.

“My congratulations go out to every one of our stakeholders who worked diligently to build a successful application that proposes bold ideas while emphasizing our unified approach to education reform. By continuing to work together, Florida will put this money to the best possible use – building a better future for the children of our state.”

An Associated Press article on the announcement is reprinted below.


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Florida among winners of ‘Race to the Top’ education grants

ATLANTA — The U.S. Education Department says nine states, including Florida, and the District of Columbia will receive money in the second round of the $4.35 billion ”Race to the Top” school reform grant competition.

Department spokesman Justin Hamilton says the winners are: Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Washington, D.C. The amounts of the grants are expected to be announced later.

The competition has instigated a wave of reforms across the country, as states passed new teacher accountability policies and lifted caps on charter schools to boost their chances of winning.

The aim of the historic program is to reward ambitious changes to improve schools and close the achievement gap.

Tennessee and Delaware were named winners in the first round of the competition in March, sharing $600 million. The applicants named winners Tuesday will share a remaining $3.4 billion.



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