Washington not selected as Race to the Top finalist

Washington state was not one of the 19 chosen as finalists in the national Race to the Top federal grant program.

The U.S. Department of Education announced which state were picked as finalists this morning.

The remaining states of Arizona, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and South Carolina, will have the chance to win a portion of $3 billion.

Mercer Island School District signed on to the state's application, along with 265 of the other districts in the state.

In a press release Gov. Chris Gregoire, Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn and State Board of Education Chair Jeff Vincent said they remain committed to bringing about meaningful education reform, but were disappointed.

“When we put together our application, we were committed, win or lose, to making sure we would carry out education reform our way, the Washington way," said the press release. "Race to the Top enabled us to spend time creating a road map to our education reform efforts through a draft plan that reflected the work of many diverse groups as well as the good work started by our most recent education laws. We will finalize the plan this fall and use it to prioritize and allocate resources as we move ahead with our state education reform efforts. It is a plan that reflects our views and values, is unique to our state and one that we know will work. In an increasingly competitive economy, we must ensure every child gets access to a quality education. We are disappointed that the Department of Education did not select Washington to move forward in their competition for these federal education dollars. We knew the process would be extremely competitive. During the first round, only two states were awarded the grant. This round, Washington was competing against 35 other states and the District of Columbia.”

In the first round only of the Race to the Top applications, only Delaware and Tennessee received funds totaling $600 million.

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