Colorado Economic Recovery and Accountability

Press Release - New Details for Race to the Top Funding

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ellen Dumm, 303 866-6361 (office), 303 829-0194 (cell),


Lt. Gov. Barbara O'Brien reported that more details on the Race to the Top education grant funds were revealed at the National Governor's Association in North Carolina over the past two days, and Colorado continues to be a in a good position to receive funding. If successful, Colorado could receive significant funding for its education system in early 2010.

"Every single policy area discussed at the Race to the Top Summit indicates that Colorado is well-positioned to receive Race to the Top funds," said Lt. Gov. O'Brien. "However, we still know that we have to push the boundaries of innovation and achievement to be successful," she added.

New details that emerged from the meeting were that "ready" states could receive full funding for their proposals in early 2010. Guidelines for the grant proposals are now expected in mid-to-late July with final guidelines coming in September.

Generally, Education Secretary Arne Duncan indicated that states with the most innovative education policies in quality teaching, turning around low-performing schools, and with high data and assessment systems and standards would be likely to receive the funds.

Lt. Gov. O'Brien also reported that Secretary Duncan told conference participants that $350 million will be available in competitive grants for the development of state assessment tests, and that states that present comprehensive plans to deal with the 1% lowest performing schools would be likely candidates for receiving funds.

Race to the Top is a competitive grant program that will divide $4.35 billion between eight to ten top-tier states. Secretary Duncan and his leadership team met with 22 states and two territories in North Carolina on Sunday and Monday to discuss the program. Lt. Gov. O'Brien is spearheading Colorado's effort to secure a portion of the federal dollars and was the only lieutenant governor representing a state. Click here to get the latest on Colorado's pursuit of Race to the Top Funds.