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Education Department pursuing stimulus funding

JACKSON — As a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), the federal government has created Race To The Top (RTTT), a program that will allow eligible states to compete for $4.35 billion in competitive grants to help lead education reform and innovation in classrooms.

The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) has officially submitted its RTTT application. The state can receive up to $175 million to help lead innovative K-12 public education reform. Peer reviewers from across the country will judge each state’s application based on its own merit. These funds will ensure academic opportunities to prepare students to compete in a global economy.

“The Department has worked very diligently to put together a comprehensive and competitive application that communicates the story of what we are already doing to transform public education, and what we are proposing to do to transform education for this state,” State Superintendent of Education Dr. Tom Burnham said.

Once the application has been reviewed, states that are chosen to move on to the next round of the process will be invited to Washington in August to present their applications to United States Department of Education officials. The second round of funding for RTTT competitive grants is scheduled to be announced in Sept. 2010.

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