Region's application selected as finalist for federal Race to the Top competition

A grant application written jointly by seven King County school districts, including Kent, is among 61 finalists for the federal Race to the Top competition, the U.S. Department of Education announced Monday.

The region's application involved the following school districts: Auburn, Kent, Federal Way, Highline, Renton, Seattle and Tukwila. The grant proposal was submitted under the name "The Road Map District Consortium" in reference to the districts' participation in the Road Map Project, a community-wide effort to drive educational improvement in South Seattle and South King County. The region's application asks for up to $40 million.

The districts' superintendents, education associations and school boards collaborated on and approved the grant proposal. The Puget Sound Educational Service District will serve as the lead agency responsible for overall project management and function as the fiscal agent should the grant be awarded.

The finalists, representing more than 200 school districts, were selected from 372 applications the U.S. Department of Education received in November. The department expects to select 15 to 25 winning applications 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, 2012.

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