President Obama has announced that he will seek an additional $1.35 billion in his next budget to continue and expand Race to the Top. The budget will be unveiled on February 1. While there is no way of predicting whether this funding request will pass, the size of Obama’s proposed increase indicates that he is committed to making this program work and embedding it in his education agenda beyond the stimulus program. Although he offered few specifics about how these funds would be used, he did note that future R2T competitions would be open to districts as well as states. There is also talk that the administration will request funds to expand the Investing in Innovation program as well; Arne Duncan stated that the Department is committed to continuing to find ways to reward excellence and innovation.
The deadline for R2T Phase 1 applications is today, and the Department expected more than 30 states to apply. Rewards will be made in April.