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Ed. Dept. Releases Rules for Race to the Top, Round 3

For those states that just barely missed winning a Race to the Top grant last year, the U.S. Department of Education today released proposed rules for Race to the Top, Round 3: The All-Bridesmaid Edition.

States that were finalists for the competition last time can now compete for a share of $200 million to implement part of their plans. (To put that number in perspective, some of the winners got far more than $200 million each last time around, when there was $4 billion at stake.)

Colorado, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Kentucky are eligible to apply for up to $12.25 million this time around; Arizona can apply for up to $17.5 million; Illinois, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey are eligible for up to $28 million; and California can apply for up to $49 million.

Those estimates are based on the assumption that all states would apply for the funds. If some opt out there might be more money available. And already some states, including South Carolina, have taken themselves out of the running for these funds.

The department is proposing a two-part application. First, states will have to show they are committed to education redesign by making progress on data systems, standards and assesments, turning around low-performing schools, and boosting teacher quality. (Those are the same areas as in the other two rounds of Race to the Top.) And they'll have to show they've kept up their investments in educaton.

After states finish with that part of the application, the department will let them know who is applying and how much money is likely to be available, based on the number of applicants.

Then comes Part II. States will have to submit a detailed budget and narrative explaining which part of their previously submitted plan they'd like to implement and why. They'll also have to explain how that plan will boost science, math, engineering, and technology education in their state.

The regulations will be open for public comment until Oct. 11. Then the department will come out with final regulations. True blue edunerds can find the draft regs here.

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