Springdale School District in running for ‘Race to the Top’ funds

WASHINGTON — The Springdale School District has been selected as a finalist for the Race to the Top-District competition, the U.S. Department of Education announced Monday.

The 2012 district program will provide 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.

The Springdale district is among the 61 finalists representing more than 200 school districts, 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.

“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.

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, depending on the population of students served through the plan.

Awards will be announced no later than Dec. 31.