Maryland and D.C. win "Race to the Top" grants
Maryland, the District of Columbia and eight other states were chosen to receive federal grant money in the second round of the “Race to the Top” competition, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Rhode Island will also share in the $3.4 billion.
The District of Columbia and Maryland both scored 450 out of 500 points, earning the 6th and 7th spots, respectively. The 46 states that applied were awarded points based on the comprehensive educational reform plans they submitted. In the first round, during the spring, only Tennessee and Delaware were chosen; both scored more than 440 in the contest. But this time around the 10 winning states all scored more than 440 points. Both Tennessee and Delaware will also be awarded grant money.
“These states show what is possible when adults come together to do the right thing for children,” Secretary Arne Duncan said in a press release. “Every state that applied showed a tremendous amount of leadership and a bold commitment to education reform. The creativity and innovation in each of these applications is breathtaking.”
The momentous amount of grant money given to Maryland will not only benefit the various regular education programs throughout the state but will also provide potential funding for county special education programs. The $250,000,000 budget should provide the necessary funds for each county to curb staff lay-offs and provide schools with essential resources. Montgomery County residents will likely notice positive changes in the schools system over the next few years with the influx of government funding.
Though the U.S. Department of Education would have liked to pick more states to award grants to, the amount of available funding ran out. Hopefully, the same will not be true in a few years when the grants are exhausted. See the chart below for the state-by-state breakdown.
|Phase 2 Grantee||Budget Not to Exceed…||Phase 2 Score||Phase 1 Score||Score Change|
|6||District of Columbia||$75,000,000||450.0||402.4||47.6|
Courtesy of the U.S. Department of Education.