June 2, 2010
Contact: Jessica Rhoades, 406.444.3160 or firstname.lastname@example.org
HELENA - Governor Brian Schweitzer and Superintendent Denise Juneau have submitted the state’s Race to the Top application and announced that a winning application could bring up to $74 million in federal funds for Montana schools. More than 700 local schools have committed to partner with the state, representing 94% of Montana’s K-12 students. The application has also been signed by Board of Public Education Chair Patty Myers.
"This proposal emphasizes what is needed in a 21st century workforce," said Governor Schweitzer. "We have proposed historic investments in math and science education to position Montana for the jobs of tomorrow. We affirm our commitment to distance learning and dual enrollment to make sure all Montanans, no matter where they choose to live or how old they are, have access to college and workforce training."
"Montana’s plan will allow schools to implement innovative programs to reach every student," said Superintendent Juneau. "It demonstrates the education community's commitment to improving education for all of our students."
Montana’s application details the statewide plan – strongly supported by 344 local school districts representing more than 134,000 of Montana’s public school students – to implement the strategies, innovations, and reforms necessary to fulfill Race to the Top requirements as laid out in the ‘Montana Plan." The state will partner with local education agencies to strategically build upon on current education reform efforts that:
(1) refine and align Montana’s rigorous state standards;
(2) provide new supports for teachers and principals to improve effectiveness;
(3) enhance local data systems and coordinating those with state data systems; and
(4) transform persistently lowest performing schools.
On July 24, 2009, President Obama and U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced federal eligibility and competitiveness requirements for states to compete for $4.35 billion in Race to the Top funding, the single largest pool of discretionary funding for education reform in U.S. history. State applications for securing a portion of the $4.35 billion education funding available nationally were due to the federal government by June 1, 2010.
For more information and to view Montana’s Race to the Top application, please visit http://racetothetop.mt.gov