NASHVILLE — Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen announced today that Tennessee is one of 16 finalists in the first round of the federal government's Race to the Top competition, which will award $4.35 billion in competitive grants designed to encourage and reward states that are pursuing education innovation.
The U.S. Department of Education announced the first-round finalists earlier today. Forty states and the District of Columbia submitted applications in January.
"I'm very pleased we've been named a finalist for the first round of funding, and believe that's due to our shared commitment to making significant and meaningful improvements to K-12 education," said Bredesen.
"Tennessee is considered competitive in Race to the Top by national education reform experts because of the continued efforts we've demonstrated to public education reform. I want to thank the General Assembly, which adopted further landmark education reform legislation earlier this year with the support of the Tennessee Education Association and educators across the state. I have no doubt this was a significant part of our success."
Finalists will travel to Washington, D.C., the week of March 15 to make presentations to peer reviewers evaluating Race to the Top applications. Winning states in the first round are expected to be announced in April, to be followed by a second round of competition later this year. Applications for Race to the Top Phase 2 will be due on June 1 and winners will be announced in September. President Obama has also requested an additional $1.35 billion in the FY 2011 budget to continue the Race to the Top program for another year.
Tennessee's complete Race to the Top proposal can be found on the state Department of Education Web site at www.tn.gov/education.
More information online at: http://www2.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2010/03/03042010.html.