Pennsylvania Applies for Federal Race to the Top Funds

Pennsylvania is among seven states that have submitted applications for Race to the Top (RTTT) Phase Three funds. The states that will compete for a share of $200 million provided by Congress in 2010 include Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. (Nine states that were runners-up in the initial Race to the Top competition were eligible for Round Three, but South Carolina opted out and California submitted an incomplete application.) The applications include commitments to enhance data systems, raise academic standards, improve principal and teacher support and evaluation systems and implement school interventions in under-performing schools. By Dec. 16, applicants also have to provide a detailed narrative and budget. Race to the Top Round Three focuses on supporting efforts to leverage comprehensive statewide reform, while also improving science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. Round Three awards will be announced in late-December. Award amounts within the $200 million fund are based on state population.

Pennsylvania has also has applied for a Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grant. (Click here to see Pennsylvania’s application.) The $500 million competitive grant program is for states to use to improve early learning and development. Including Pennsylvania, there are 35 states that have submitted applications. In mid-December, the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services will award the highest ranked applicants within funding availability. Awards will range from around $50 million up to $100 million, depending on a state’ss population of children from low-income families and proposed plan.

Source: PSBA Legislative Report, Dec. 1, 2011.