With $400 million up for grabs, 893 school districts or groups of districts have told the U.S. Department of Education that they plan to compete in the latest Race to the Top competition, which is designed to spur improvements at the local level.
This includes nearly 200 large districts that are eligible for the top awards of between $30 million and $40 million. Another 433 small districts plan to compete for $10 million to $20 million, the smallest awards. The rest are somewhere in between.
The nearly 900 districts made yesterday’s deadline of letting the department know that they want to compete. Filing a “notice of intent to apply” wasn’t mandatory, but more of a courtesy so the department can plan things such as how many peer reviewers will be needed to judge the competition. It’s important to note that just because a district filed such a notice doesn’t mean it has to apply; in fact, the final list of applicants is usually quite a bit shorter.