In an August 12, 2012 press release, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced the availability of applications for participation in its 2012 Race to the Top – District (RTT-D) competition. Applicants will compete for a portion of the $400 million RTT-D fund established to support local education reform initiatives. An applicant must be either a local education agency (LEA) or a consortium of LEAs serving at least 2,000 students with 40% or more eligible for free or reduced-price lunch; a consortium of at least ten LEAs may serve fewer than 2,000 students if at least 75 percent of the students at each LEA will be served by the consortium’s application. With the RTT-D competition, ED plans to support locally directed improvements in teaching and learning that will improve teacher effectiveness and student achievement. Fifteen to 25 awards are expected, each ranging from $5 million to $40 million, based on the number of students to be served. Applicants may apply for funding for programs for students in all or a set of schools, within specific grade levels, or select study areas. According to ED documents, ED will conduct technical assistance webinars on August 16th and August 21st. Each interested LEA or consortium must submit its intent to apply by August 30th; applications are due by October 30th and grants will be awarded in December. Additional information is available at www.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-district.
With existing relationships with many LEAs and consortia across the country, PCG Education is in an excellent position to offer electronic tools and professional consulting services to assist applicants in the RTT-D competition.