Florida is one of nine states awarded millions in grant money Tuesday for education reform as part of the federal government’s “Race to the Top” competition.

The U.S. Department of Education announced today the awarding of $4.35 billion in grant funding to Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Rhode Island. The District of Columbia will also receive funding from the program.

Florida’s cut will be up to $700 million to enact education reform in four key areas, according to a DOE press release. The DOE says those areas include:

  • Adopting standards and assessments that prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace
  • Building data systems that measure student growth and success, and inform teachers and principals how to improve instruction
  • Recruiting, developing, rewarding and retaining effective teachers and principals, especially where they are needed most
  • Turning around their lowest-performing schools
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