Seven school districts in King County are among the finalists in the U.S. Department of Education’s latest Race to the Top competition.
The seven, which together submitted one application, are Seattle, Auburn, Federal Way, Highline, Kent, Renton and Tukwila. In their application, they asked for a grant of $40 million.
The department received 372 applications for Race to the Top grants in November, and on Monday whittled that number to 61 finalists. An estimated 15-25 applicants will receive grants, which will be announced by the end of the year.
Two other Washington applicants were also among the finalists: Vancouver Public Schools and a group of districts in north central Washington.
The members of the King County consortium say they’d use the $40 million on a number of new efforts, such as providing summer reading plans for students in low-income neighborhoods, working to double the number of students who take algebra by the end of eighth grade, and providing computer-based math-tutoring program that many students can use at home or at school.
This is the first time that school districts can apply for Race to the Top grants. In the past, the competition has been for states.