Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) today expressed his excitement and praised the U.S. Department of Education for announcing that Colorado is one of nine states in the running to receive Race to the Top education reforms grants ranging from $10 million to $50 million. Colorado will also be eligible to compete for a $500 million pool of RTT funding aimed at improving early learning opportunities.
"Race to the Top lifts the hopes and aspirations of all students because it fosters innovative and effective reforms that are improving America's schools," said Polis. "This is the most successful education reform effort in history, and I will work to see that Colorado can continue its push to make every school a great school with the help of this funding. Our state's recent early childhood education advancements and inclusion of early learning should give us a leg up in the competition. These funds will help provide hope and opportunity for our next generation."
Polis is the author of the Race to the Top Act (H.R. 1532), which would authorize the initiative through 2017. The bill specifically includes an early learning component to ensure that children are prepared to learn when they enter the public school system. The legislation would also allow local school districts, beginning in the next fiscal year, to apply directly for Race to the Top grants.
Race to the Top is delivering real results for students and families. Since its inception:
* 46 states and the District of Columbia developed statewide reform plans;
* 16 states changed laws to facilitate intervention at low-performing schools;
* 22 states enacted laws to improve teacher quality, including alternative certification, effectiveness and evaluation systems;
* 42 states and DC have adopted high college- and career-ready standards; and,
* 16 states have altered laws or policies to create or expand the number of charter schools.
Additional information on Race to the Top and today's announcement is available from the U.S. Department of Education: