Wednesday, May 25, 2011 — Gov. John Hickenlooper and Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia today applauded the U.S. Department of Education’s announcement that Colorado is among nine states able to apply for the third round of Race to the Top funds.
“Today’s announcement is good news – potentially even very good news – for Colorado,” Hickenlooper said. “We have every intention of pursuing this opportunity to fund excellence in our schools. In the face of increasing global competition, educating our kids is the key to future economic success. Colorado will build on our previous Race to the Top applications, forge ahead with the reform efforts we already have underway and hopefully secure this federal funding.”
“Colorado has an aggressive education reform agenda with plans to improve early childhood literacy and educator effectiveness,” Garcia said. “During these challenging economic times, it is critical that we pursue these Race to the Top funds to support a first rate education for every child in this state.”
“I am pleased that the Department of Education is making these opportunities available,” said Robert Hammond, Colorado Commissioner of Education. “We are eager to see how well Race to the Top parameters align with the ambitious reform initiatives Colorado already has moving forward.”
As one of nine states, Colorado can apply for $10 to $50 million by updating the state’s last application submitted in June 2010. Grants will be awarded for programs in early childhood education and the K-12 public education system. All updated grant applications will be due to the U.S. Department of Education in the fall.
The U.S. Secretary of Education also announced a new and separate $500 million state-level grant competition, the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge. This grant will reward states that create comprehensive plans to transform early learning systems and is on is open to all states, including Colorado.