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RCPS a finalist for $30M grant
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Rockdale County Public Schools was named one of 61 finalists out of 372 applicants in the competition for Race to the Top funds directly from the federal government.

“We are extremely excited to see that our application was chosen to move forward to the next level,” said Rockdale Superintendent Richard Autry. “Through our strategic planning process, we have developed our vision for the future of public education in Rockdale County which is outlined in our application. Receiving this grant will enable us to move forward with expanded learning options for students and families, specialized programs of study based on interests and talents, and new ways of learning through virtual opportunities.”

This latest round of Race to the Top funding will give close to $400 million to support locally developed plans to personalize and deepen student learning, directly improve student achievement and educator effectiveness, close achievement gaps, and prepare every student for success in college and careers.

RCPS applied for $29,942,532 over two years. If awarded, the grant would be more than 10 percent of the school system's annual budget, which was about $124.8 million this year.

The Department expects to select 15-25 winning applications from the Race to the Top-District competition for four-year awards that will range from $5 million to $40 million, announced no later than Dec. 31.

The 61 finalists, representing more than 200 school districts, were selected from 372 applications the Department received in November to demonstrate how districts could personalize education for students and provide school leaders and teachers with key tools that support them to meet students’ needs. RCPS was one of 23 Georgia school districts that applied.

“These finalists are setting the curve for the rest of the country with innovative plans to drive education reform in the classroom,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “This competition was designed to support local efforts to close the achievement gap and transform the learning environment in a diverse set of districts, but no matter who wins, children across the country will benefit from the clear vision and track records of success demonstrated by these finalists.”

The Department has posted the list of districts that submitted an application on its website: The list includes all districts that applied and does not indicate their eligibility for the competition.