ATLANTA – Governor Sonny Perdue has announced that Georgia was selected as a winner by the U.S. Department of Education for the second round of “Race to the Top” grants. The state is projected to receive $400 million over four years to The Race to the Top fund is a $4 billion grant opportunity provided in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) to support new approaches to improve schools.“I am so pleased that Georgia has been named a winner of Race to the Top,” said Superintendent Bryant. “Going for Race to the Top has never been about just the money, but more about further development of our foundation to drive increased student achievement. But now that we have the additional resources, we can put an even greater focus on implementing that foundation for the benefit of Georgia’s students.”
Georgia’s application was prepared through a partnership between the Governor’s Office, the Office of Student Achievement, the Georgia Department of Education and education stakeholders. Twenty-six local school districts have signed on to partner with the state in implementing Georgia’s Race to the Top plan. These districts, which make up 41 percent of public school students in Georgia, include: Atlanta, Ben Hill, Bibb, Burke, Carrolton, Chatham, Cherokee, Clayton, Dade, DeKalb, Dougherty, Gainesville, Gwinnett, Hall, Henry, Jones, Meriwether, Muscogee, Peach, Pulaski, Rabun, Richmond, Rockdale, Spalding, Valdosta and White. The participating districts include 46 percent of Georgia’s students in poverty, 53 percent of Georgia’s African American students, 48 percent of Hispanics and 68 percent of the state’s lowest achieving schools.
Georgia added three school districts, Dade, Peach and Pulaski, to the 23 districts that applied in the first round as part of its Phase II application. The three new districts were chosen to align federal School Improvement Grants with Race to the Top.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation selected 15 states, including Georgia, to benefit from technical assistance for Race to the Top application development.
The states were selected based on how well poised they are to win Race to the Top based on progress in education policy and reform. Georgia partnered with The Parthenon Group, a consulting firm based in Boston, which specializes in part in education reform.