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U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced today, Aug. 24, that 10 applicants have won grants in the second phase of the Race to the Top competition. Along with Phase 1 winners Delaware and Tennessee, 11 states and the District of Columbia have now been awarded grants. Illinois was not selected.
The 10 winning Phase 2 applications are: the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and Rhode Island.
“These states show what is possible when adults come together to do the right thing for children,” said Secretary Arne Duncan. “Every state that applied showed a tremendous amount of leadership and a bold commitment to education reform. The creativity and innovation in each of these applications is breathtaking,” Secretary Duncan continued. “We set a high bar and these states met the challenge.”
Secretary Duncan added, “We’re very hopeful there will be a Phase 3 of Race to the Top and have requested $1.35 billion dollars in next year’s budget. In the meantime, we will partner with each and every state that applied to help them find ways to carry out the bold reforms they’ve proposed in their applications.”
Robin Steans, Executive Director of Advance Illinois which has been advocating for educational reform in Illinois, said, “While it is very disappointing that Illinois was not selected to receive a Race to the Top grant, there is still cause for hope. In the process of competing for an award, Illinois passed key reforms which will form the foundation for meaningful changes in our schools. Although we didn’t finish in the money, real reform is still underway in Illinois.”