Del., Tenn. Only States to Qualify for Education Stimulus Prize

Union support helps 'Race to Top' winners
By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 29, 2010 9:17 PM CDT

(Newser) – With $4 billion in stimulus funds up for grabs in an initiative to improve US schools, only two states of the 41 that applied scored high enough to get a piece. Delaware and Tennessee will each get $600 million, from the “Race to the Top” program, the Department of Education announced today; says Secretary Arne Duncan, “this is about systemic reform really driving change at a state-level and these two states did a spectacular job of that.”

Gaining nearly unanimous support from powerful teachers unions was key for the states, analysts tell ABC News—allowing them to tie teacher evaluations to student performance, a measure union brass across the US have fought. But track record and a plan going forward were just as important, Duncan noted, adding that the other 39 applicants could yet qualify for funds.

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