State Superintendent of Education Jim Rex says that South Carolina will participate in the second round of competition for federal Race to the Top grants. South Carolina was named as one of 16 finalists in the first round. The state’s final scores ranked sixth among those finalists, but only two winners – Delaware and Tennessee – were named as Round 1 winners. The finalists sent teams to Washington in March to make in-person presentations to the judges.
Now, SC will modify its presentation — for the Round 2 cap is $175 million.
“We know from our Round 1 scores – from the fact that we ranked so highly – that we’re on the right track,” Rex says.
Rex says his office is meeting in the coming weeks with teachers, administrators, legislators, business leaders and the Governor’s Office. States must apply for the second round by June 1. Final award announcements are in September.
Rex says that even if South Carolina wins a Round 2 award, the grant funds would be directed at specific initiatives detailed in the state’s application and could not be used to blunt the impact of more than $700 million in budget cuts to public schools over the past 19 months.