Race to the Top Fund
The Department of Education (ED) has released the final priorities, requirements, definitions and selection criteria for the $4.3 billion Race to the Top Fund. A competitive grant program, the Fund will benefit states that have raised student achievement in the past and have the capacity to continue to do so through implementing innovative education reform strategies around the four areas of education reform outlined in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The final application includes significant changes based on public comments. Among these changes, the final application has reorganized a number of criteria and created a new section at the beginning of the selection criteria called “State Success Factors.” This will allow states to begin the application with a clear statement of statewide agendas. The first eligibility requirement has also been changed to provide that a state must have both phases of its State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF) application approved before being awarded a Race to the Top Fund grant. In addition, the final application clarifies that states should use multiple evaluation measures for teachers and principals. ED will use two rounds of competition for the grants, the first of which will accept applications until mid-January 2010. The priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria contained in the final rule are effective January 19, 2010.
Final priorities: 74 Fed. Reg. 59,688 (Nov. 18, 2009)
Proposed priorities: 74 Fed. Reg. 37,804 (July 29, 2009)
NSBA chart with final requirements
NSBA Guide for School Board Members