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King County schools win $40 million in Race to the Top support

by Cynthia Wise, Senior Assignments Editor, KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on December 11, 2012 at 10:57 AM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 11 at 11:23 AM

The federal government is granting $40 million to fund a unique approach to improving student achievement developed by a group of King County school districts.

The Auburn, Federal Way, Highline, Kent, Renton, Seattle and Tukwila school districts worked together to create "The Road Map District Consortium," a collaborative effort to dramatically improve education in South Seattle and South King County.

The districts' application was among 16 winners selected by the U.S. Department of Education out of 372 applications. Awards ranged from $5 million to $40 million. The Road Map District Consortium was one of only two applicants to win the maximum award.

"This is a major victory for students and families in South King County," said U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA). "When we level the playing field by providing increased access and opportunity for our students, everyone wins. This victory will have a long-lasting impact on our community, and our state, as we all work together to build a brighter future for our students."

"This funding will directly help our students and schools in Seattle and South King County," Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Jose Banda said. "We are so pleased to be part of this joint effort."

Among the program’s goals are:

To provide funds to help kids be ready to be successful in kindergarten,

Provide a computer-based math program for all high-need kindergarten through 8th grade students that they can use in school and at home,

Provide all high-need elementary students with a summer reading plan,

Double the number of students taking algebra or higher by the end of eighth grade, and,

Help all eighth-grade students complete a personalized plan to be college- and career-ready.

This is the first time the federal Race to the Top competition has been open to districts and district consortiums. Previously, the grants had only been offered to states.

The winning plan covers 261 schools and 150,000 students, including 36,000 high-need children. 

Read the consortium's winning application online
.

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