The U.S. Department of Education announced that seven states Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania will each receive a share of the $200 million in Race to the Top Round 3 (RTT3) fund to advance targeted K-12 reforms aimed at improving student achievement.
RTT3 focuses on supporting efforts to leverage comprehensive statewide reform, while also improving science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. The Science Foundation of Arizona (SFAz) contributed the portion of Arizona's application pursuant to STEM and is also a leading force and funding organization for STEM initiatives in Arizona.
The seven winning applications include commitments to enhance data systems, raise academic standards, improve principal and teacher support and evaluation systems and implement school interventions in underperforming schools.
Congress recently passed an omnibus spending bill for fiscal year 2012 that includes an additional $550 million for Race to the Top. The bill includes language that will allow the Department to create a district-level competition and continue the investment in the Early Learning Challenge.