Press Release from the Senate Democratic Caucus, March 29, 2010:
State to receive $500 million in federal education funds
NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Senate Democratic Caucus celebrated the news Monday that Tennessee has been announced as a winner in the federal Race to the Top educational grant competition.
“Tennessee has ranked near the bottom of nearly every educational measure. Now, we have the chance to become a national leader in education reform,” said Caucus Chairman Lowe Finney (D-Jackson). “I’m proud of my colleagues’ work in the state legislature that brought our application to fruition.”
Tennessee will receive approximately $500 million over four years out of the $4.35 billion in Race to the Top funds designated for states making significant education reforms and innovations. The Department of Education announced Tennessee and Delaware as the competition’s first-round winners Monday.
The state’s application was named to the finalist round of 16 earlier this month.
Senate Democrats led the passage of the Tennessee First to the Top Act during a special legislative session in January. Senate Minority Leader Jim Kyle (D-Memphis) sponsored the bill, and Sen. Finney and Sen. Andy Berke (D-Chattanooga) co-sponsored an amendment to create a Teacher Professional Development Fund, the first of its kind in the state.
“I am proud of our President for giving Tennessee children a chance at receiving a better education, and I am grateful for the cooperation of our teachers, their representatives, and the legislators that worked to enact the reforms that made our application successful,” Kyle said.
Tennessee’s Race to the Top proposal can be found at http://www.tn.gov/education.