The Race to the Top (RTTT) program strived to spark education reform in state and local K-12 school districts by inviting states to compete for $4 billion in federal funding. RTTT's criteria forces states to replace outdated systems and ineffective assessments by investing in modern education technologies, content, and systems to ensure classroom instruction is more efficient and effective.
GovWin will publish a blog series on each of the second-round RTTT winners (District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island and Hawaii) to highlight each state's potential for government contract opportunities.
The RTTT award amounts are based on population and range from $75 million for Hawaii, to $700 million for New York state. How these funds are utilized will depend on how far along states are in meeting RTTT criteria. Some states, like Massachusetts, are still in the planning stages of their statewide longitudinal data system, while others, like the District of Columbia, have disjointed systems that need to integrate into a standardized district-wide longitudinal data system. Upon preliminary analysis, it appears there will be many upcoming bids requesting assistance to satisfy the RTTT's reform criteria, with a focus on expanding and improving data systems and standards and assessment systems.
RTTT funds will be distributed to the states over a four-year period, with the first year of funding allocation scheduled for 2011. Since states have the large task of implementing these statewide educational reforms; all second-round winners are building an internal infrastructure (via agency or commission) to ensure these programs and projects are proficiently executed.
This highly successful program may have a second wind; the Department of Education has a pending request in Congress for an additional $1.35 billion for a third round of RTTT funding. This is exciting news for the remaining 26 states that submitted applications for RTTT funds, but did not make the first two cuts. This is also big news for vendors interested in bidding on potential projects of new awardees.
As the current winning states navigate through this RTTT transition, GovWin will monitor each state's progress and identify any opportunities that may be of interest to our members.