The state of Hawaii will receive a grant not exceeding $75 million from the U.S. Department of Education's Race to the Top program, announced U.S. Senators Daniel K. Akaka and Daniel K. Inouye. Hawaii is one of nine states and the District of Columbia to receive funding in the final phase of Race to the Top. The actual amount of the grants will be finalized after discussions between the grantees and the Department of Education.
"I am ecstatic to learn that Hawaii has won Race to the Top funds. This is great news as our keiki begin a new school year without furloughs and the disadvantage of having the shortest school year in the nation. As a former educator, I know that our students must have every resource available to succeed, and this grant will greatly aid our educators to give our students the best education possible," said Senator Akaka.
"I am extremely pleased to learn that Hawaii has been selected to receive a Race to the Top grant," said Senator Inouye. "Educating our children is the greatest investment we can make in our future. This competitive grant will allow us to improve our schools for our students, teachers, principals, and support staff. After experiencing such a difficult and challenging school year, furloughs are finally over and Hawaii no longer has the shortest school year in America. These funds will help fortify an education system that needs all the help we can provide."
The Race to the Top program is a $4 billion competitive grant program authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The U.S. Department of Education awarded grants to states with ambitious plans for comprehensive education reform. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico were eligible to apply. On March 29, 2010, Tennessee and Delaware were awarded grants in Phase 1 of Race to the Top.
Thirty-six applicants submitted proposals for Phase 2 of Race to the Top. In June, Senators Daniel K. Inouye and Daniel K. Akaka wrote Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in support of the state of Hawaii's application for Race to the Top grants. Today, Secretary Duncan announced that Hawaii, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia were selected to receive Phase 2 Race to the Top grants.