Governor Steve Beshear's Communications Office
Governor Beshear Announces Kentucky Named Finalist for Race to the Top Education Award

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, July 27, 2010  
Contact Information:  Kerri Richardson
Jill Midkiff

Recognition of Kentucky’s education reform efforts

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Steve Beshear, Education Commissioner Terry Holliday and congressional members applauded the news today that Kentucky is among the finalists for the second round of federal Race to the Top funding, a pot of over $3.3 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to be used for education reform.

“We are thrilled to once again see Kentucky in the list of finalists for Race to the Top funding,” said Gov. Beshear.  “Kentucky has shown repeatedly that it is a leader in education reform, and our selection reflects the high quality of our application and reinforces the validity of the work we are engaging in for Kentucky’s children.”

Under Gov. Beshear’s leadership, Kentucky has multiple education reform efforts underway, including the Transforming Education in Kentucky and Early Childhood Development and Education task forces and the Graduate Kentucky Initiative, as well as implementation of SB1.

“I’m very excited that Kentucky has been named a finalist in the second round of the Race to the Top funding competition,” said Commissioner Holliday.  “Our application is strong, and the feedback we received from the first round helped us improve our plan.  I’m optimistic about our chances in this round; however, this application represents not only our plans related to Race to the Top, but our strategic priorities in the coming years.”

The next step is to prepare to defend the application to a panel of reviewers in Washington, D.C. who will make the final decisions on winners.  The U.S. Department of Education will announce the second round of “Race to the Top” awards in the fall of 2010.

“This announcement is further proof that Kentucky is continuing to make great strides toward improving the quality of education our children receive,” said Congressman John Yarmuth, of Kentucky’s 3rd district.  “Governor Beshear and the General Assembly have worked hard to ensure Kentucky has access to every resource needed to strengthen schools in our communities, and I look forward to continuing to support their efforts in the next phase of this process.”

“Nothing is more important than the education of our children,” Congressman Ben Chandler, of Kentucky’s 6th district, said.  “This program could be a big opportunity for the children of the Commonwealth, and being a finalist brings Kentucky one step closer to receiving these funds to move our state forward.”

About Race to the Top
Race to the Top is a $4.35 billion competitive grant program, designed to reward states that are improving schools in four areas:

  • Enhancing standards and assessments;
  • Improving the collection and use of data;
  • Increasing teacher effectiveness and achieving equity in teacher distribution; and
  • Turning around low-performing schools.