Kentucky has been awarded $17 million in federal Race to the Top funding for public education. Kentucky originally requested $175 million from the U.S. Department of Education. Officials say while the $17 million award is substantially less, it’s still appreciated. Kentucky Department of Education spokeswoman Lisa Gross says some of the money will be used to expand Advance Kentucky, an initiative that works to increase high school students’ access to Advanced Placement courses.
The rest of the grant will help the state implement the provisions of Senate Bill 1. Gross says the bill, passed in 2009, requires the state’s public schools to develop a new system of assessment and accountability.
“It’s a very broad-reaching bill,” she said. “It requires us to implement new standards and new tests and so there’s a lot of work that needs to be done to fully implement the bill. We’re on track to implement, but we still have work to do to fully implement it.”
This is the third round of Race to the Top funding, and the first time Kentucky has received an award. Earlier this month, the state was passed over for $60 million in additional Race to the Top funds that would have supported early childhood education programs.