In February, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) into law. This historic legislation, supported by Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards (D-MD), is designed to stimulate the economy by making significant investments in several national priorities, including education. A component of the investment in education is the Race to the Top Fund, a $4.35 billion competitive grant program. This initiative encourages states to apply for critical funding to support innovative programs to reform and improve education, encourage student achievement, increase graduation rates, and explore other educational reforms.
"The Race to the Top Fund is the latest effort by the federal government to take a critical step forward to invest and support the educational infrastructure of this country," said Rep. Edwards. "I applaud efforts by the Department of Education to encourage discussion of real reform, leading to changes throughout the nation's educational system that will help children receive the highest quality education, while also closing achievement gaps that threaten the futures of many children in the Fourth Congressional District and across the nation. The Race to the Top Fund is a tremendous opportunity that I hope Maryland will take advantage of to improve schools throughout the state. A quality education is critical for a child to be competitive in a 21st Century global economy, and will determine the future competitiveness and long-term economic success of this nation."
The Fund encourages schools to implement plans in four core education reform areas:
* Preparing students to succeed in college and the workplace in order to compete in a global economy;
* Developing data systems that measure student growth and instruct teachers and principals on how they can improve on education methods;
* Recruitment, training, support, and development of teachers and principals; and
* Reforming low-performing schools.
The Final Notice/Invitation for Applications for the Race to the Top will be posted in the Federal Register on November 18, 2009.
For additional information, including the application, please visit: http://www.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/index.html.