U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today applauded Ohio's inclusion in the next round of the "Race to the Top" program. The program uses Recovery Act funding to reward schools that measurably improve their quality of education. Ohio is competing to receive more than $400 million of the $4 billion available nationwide. Of the 40 states and the District of Columbia that applied to the program, just 16 were chosen to move on to the next round of competition.
"The Race to the Top program provides incentives for good schools to become great, and Ohio should have an important role to play in the program," said Sen. Brown. "This year Ohio earned its highest rating ever from Education Week, and we will not stop improving our public education system. Our future economic development will be built on the accomplishments of our students, and we owe them the education they need to succeed."
Nearly 480 Ohio school districts signed on to the state's application for funding. In January, Sen. Brown wrote to U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan urging that Ohio's application be given strong consideration. "Ohio has commenced its new biennium with a comprehensive education reform plan," wrote Sen. Brown. "Funding provided through the Race to the Top program would accelerate the state's existing agenda to strategically address gaps in delivering a highly effective learning experience to all students." The same month, Ohio's education system was rated the fifth-best in the nation by Education Week, the state's highest rating yet from the publication.