WASHINGTON, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Nine states and the District of Columbia won grants in phase 2 of the Race to the Top competition, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said Tuesday.
The federal program is designed to spur education reform. New York and Florida were the top grant recipients, with $700 million each from the $4.35 billion Race to the Top fund.
The Education Department said in a release that along with phase 1 winners Delaware and Tennessee, 11 states and the District of Columbia have been awarded grants in the education reform program, directly affecting 13.6 million students, 980,000 teachers and 25,000 schools.
"These states show what is possible when adults come together to do the right thing for children," Duncan said in a statement. "Every state that applied showed a tremendous amount of leadership and a bold commitment to education reform."
Duncan said the department wants to have a phase 3 competition and has requested $1.35 billion for it from Congress.
A total of 46 states and the District of Columbia put together comprehensive education reform plans to apply for Race to the Top in phases 1 and 2, the department said; 35 states and the District of Columbia have adopted rigorous college- and career-ready standards in reading and math, and 34 states have changed laws or policies to improve education.
In addition to the $700 million each to New York and Florida, the phase 2 grants went to Massachusetts, $250 million; Hawaii, $75 million; Rhode Island, $75 million; District of Columbia, $75 million; Maryland, $250 million; Georgia, $400 million; North Carolina, $400 million; and Ohio, $400 million.