WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Arlen Specter (D-PA) today applauded the Department of Education’s decision to include Pennsylvania in the second round of consideration for federal funding under the Race to the Top competitive grant program. Under the program, Pennsylvania would be eligible for up to $400 million.
“Pennsylvania’s across-the-board gains in student achievement and its nationally recognized data system to track student performance makes Pennsylvania uniquely equipped for this grant opportunity,” said Senator Casey. “I am pleased the Commonwealth has cleared the first hurdle in securing this important funding.”
“I am pleased that Pennsylvania has been named as a finalist in the Race to the Top,” Specter said. “Education is one of our nation’s greatest capital assets, and Pennsylvania is a competitive candidate to receive these federal resources to help prepare our children for success in college, the workplace and beyond.”
Race to the Top is the Department of Education’s $4.35 billion effort to dramatically re-shape America's educational system to better engage and prepare students for success in a competitive 21st century economy and workplace.
States competing for Race to the Top funds were asked to document past education reform successes, as well as outline plans to: extend reforms using college and career-ready standards and assessments; build a workforce of highly effective educators; create educational data systems to support student achievement and turn around their lowest-performing schools.
Pennsylvania is one of 16 finalists chosen from among the 40 states and the District of Columbia that submitted applications for Phase 1. Winners for Phase 1 will be chosen from among the 16 finalists and announced in April. Applications for Phase 2 will be due on June 1 of this year, with finalists announced in August and winners in September. The only states prohibited from applying in Phase 2 are those that receive awards in Phase 1.