Two New Race to the Top Competitions

The nine finalist states that did not win grants in the first two rounds of Race to the Top will be eligible to compete for $200 million in additional funds this year.  Applications will be available this fall.  The states — Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina — may seek grants ranging from $10 million to $50 million, depending on population and the final number of grants.  Given that these grants are smaller than the grants they originally applied for, states will work with the Department to redo their Race to the Top plans to reflect a more limited scope of work.  States’ Race to the Top applications were scored on a 500-point scale across a broad set of criteria.  While the 12 original winners of Race to the Top scored 440 or above, all of the 21 finalists scored above 412.  The non-finalists scored more than 20 points lower.  FOR MORE INFORMATION, GO TO
The Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge will reward states that create comprehensive plans to transform early learning systems with better coordination, clearer learning standards, and meaningful workforce development.  In both a town hall meeting ( and conference call (, Secretary Duncan and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius also challenged the full innovation community — leading researchers, high-tech entrepreneurs, foundations, non-profits, and others — to fully engage with the early learning community and to close the school readiness gap.  States applying for grants will be encouraged to increase access to quality early learning programs for disadvantaged and low-income children, design integrated and transparent systems that align their early care and education programs, bolster training and support for the early learning workforce, create robust evaluation systems to document and share effective practices and programs, and help parents make informed decisions about child care.

The Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge will be administered jointly by the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services.  The public may provide input, including data and relevant research, at  Guidance, eligibility, and number and range of awards will be announced in coming weeks.  The application will be released later this summer, with grants awarded to states no later than December 31, 2011.  FOR MORE INFORMATION, GO TO

Core Education served as the writer for DC’s winning Race to the Top bid in 2010. For more information about our grant writing services, see