WASHINGTON, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- School districts in 11 states and the District of Columbia will split nearly $400 million in Race to the Top money, federal education officials said Tuesday.
The 16 applicants that earned a share of the 2012 grant pie represent 55 school districts, the U.S. Education Department said in a release.
The districts are to use the money to improve student achievement and teacher effectiveness with the goal of closing achievement gaps and doing a better job of students for higher education.
"Districts have been hungry to drive reform at the local level, and now these winners can empower their school leaders to pursue innovative ideas where they have the greatest impact: in the classroom," U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said. "The Race to the Top-District grantees have shown tremendous leadership though developing plans that will transform the learning environment and enable students to receive a personalized, world-class education."
The winning districts, picked from 372 applicants, will get four-year awards ranging from $10 million to $40 million.
The 16 winners are:
-- Carson City School District, Nevada
-- Charleston County School District, South Carolina
-- Galt Joint Union School District, California
-- Green River Regional Educational Cooperative, Kentucky, consortium leader (consortium members: Adair County Schools, Campbellsville Independent Schools, Carroll County Schools, Caverna Independent Schools, Cloverport Independent Schools, Daviess County Schools, Green County Schools, Hart County Schools, Henry County Schools, Logan County Schools, Metcalfe County Schools, Monroe County Schools, Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative, Owen County Schools, Owensboro Independent Schools, Russell County Schools, Shelby County Schools, Simpson County Schools, Spencer County Schools, Taylor County Schools, Trimble County Schools, Union County Schools, West Point Independent Schools)
-- Guilford County Schools, North Carolina
-- Harmony Science Academy (Harmony Public Schools), Texas, consortium leader (consortium members: Harmony School of Excellence, Harmony School of Science-Houston, Harmony Science Academy-Austin, Harmony Science Academy-Brownsville, Harmony Science Academy-El Paso, Harmony Science Academy-Fort Worth, Harmony Science Academy-Lubbock, Harmony Science Academy-San Antonio, Harmony Science Academy-Waco)
-- IDEA Public Schools, Texas
-- Iredell-Statesville Schools, North Carolina
-- KIPP DC, Washington, D.C.
-- Lindsay Unified School District, California
-- Metropolitan School District of Warren Township, Indiana
-- Middletown City School District, New York
-- New Haven Unified School District, California
-- Puget Sound Educational Service District, Washington, consortium leader (consortium members: Auburn School District, Federal Way Public Schools, Highline Public Schools, Kent School District, Renton School District, Seattle Public Schools, Tukwila School District)
-- School Board of Miami-Dade County, Florida
-- St. Vrain Valley Schools, Colorado