Illinois is one of 19 states named as a finalist in the U.S. Department of Education's Race to the Top competition, federal officials announced Tuesday. Seventeen states didn't make the cut.
This puts Illinois in the running for up to $400 million in new education dollars. The money must be spent on specific initiatives supported by the Dept. of Education including turning around low-performing schools, raising academic standards, enhancing teacher quality and using data to evaluate teachers and improve education.
The winners will be announced in late August or early September.
This is Illinois' second time being a finalist. In the first round last spring, just two states, Delaware and Tennessee, won grants.
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