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New Round of Race to Top Contest Targets STEM Education

STEM education is getting a boost from the U.S. Department of Education in the latest round of the federal Race to the Top program.

If states want a slice of the $200 million prize, they must develop plans aimed squarely at improving education in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math), my colleague Michele McNeil explains over at Politics K-12. Apparently, only the nine runner-up finalists from last year's Race to the Top competition are eligible for an award this time.

Today, the Education Department spelled out the rules for applying in this, the third round of Race to the Top. To qualify, states must meet nine requirements, or "assurances". Based on a look at those requirements, Michele says South Carolina would seem to be out of the running. So that leaves Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

Available funding will allow for awards ranging from around $12 million to $49 million, depending on state population, the department says.

The news comes as STEM education was a big winner last week in the second round of another Education Department competition, the federal Investing in Innovation program.

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