N.J. among nine finalists in latest Race to the Top funding competition

The federal Department of Education announced that the state will have the chance to compete for a share of the $200 million available in federal education funding under Race to the Top.

New Jersey is among nine finalists that include Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Pennsylvania and South Carolina.

The state’s Race to the Top application turned into a debacle last time that led to the state missing out on a chance at up to $400 million and the firing of Education Commissioner Bret Schundler in August 2010.

This time, the nine finalists will be competing for grants ranging from $10 million to $50 million.

“Every state that applied for Race to the Top funds now has a blueprint for raising educational quality across America,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in a release. “These funds will encourage states to continue their courageous work to challenge the status quo and build on the momentum for education reform happening in our classrooms, schools and communities.”

N.J. among nine finalists in latest Race to the Top funding competition