Wed May 25, 2011

Colorado Eligible for Round 3 Race to the Top Funds

The U.S. Department of Education announced today that Colorado will be one of nine states eligible to compete for $200 million in school grant money this year. This will be the state’s third try competing for so-called Race to the Top funds.

Funded with stimulus money, the competitive grant passed over Colorado’s proposals in 2009 and 2010. This round, the grants will be significantly smaller—ranging from $10 to $50 million.

The money comes from the 2011 appropriations bill passed in April. One important focus for grant seekers, according to Education Secretary Arne Duncan, will be the so called Early Learning Challenge.

Democratic Senator Michael Bennet said in a press release on Wednesday he would help in any way he can to make this round successful for Colorado.

“The real work of reforming our schools must be done at the state and local levels and Race to the Top incentivizes dynamic new solutions to old problems,” he said. “A round for early childhood education, which is key to a student’s success in school, can make a tremendous difference.”

Among the other states vying for grant money will be California, Illinois, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.