WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Education announced today that New Jersey and eight other finalist states that did not win grants in the first two rounds of the Race to the Top program will be eligible to compete for $200 million in additional funds this year. Applications will be available in the early fall.
The states can seek grants ranging from $10 million to $50 million, depending on state size and the final number of grants. Given that these grants are smaller than the ones originally applied for, states will work with the U.S. Department of Education to update their plans to reflect a more limited scope of work.
“Every state that applied for Race to the Top funds now has a blueprint for raising educational quality across America,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “These funds will encourage states to continue their courageous work to challenge the status quo and build on the momentum for education reform happening in our classrooms, schools and communities.”
Race to the Top applications were scored on a 500-point scale across a broad set of criteria. While the 12 original winners of RTT scored 440 or above all of the finalists scored above 412. New Jersey missed the mark because of errors in the application ultimately submitted after Gov. Chris Christie decided to throw out the original proposal developed with support of the NJEA.
“Gov. Chris Christie’s administration completely mishandled their last application, costing New Jersey $400 million in school aid,” said Assembly Education Chairman Patrick J. Diegnan Jr. (D-Middlesex.) “Because of their follies, we are now limited to receiving $10 million to $50 million in this latest round of funding. The Christie administration needs to take advantage of this new opportunity and do it right this time. I recommend a cooperative approach including ALL relevant stakeholders in the process.”
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