Serving Education and Training Markets Since 2006

Race to the Top Fund competitive grants for education innovation and reform.


The Notice of Proposed Priorities is now available. We encourage you to submit your comments early. You can also:

The Department will host several conference calls—during the public comment period—for Governors, Chief State School Officers, and State Board of Education Leaders and state legislators. The conference calls are open to members of the public, and everyone is invited to participate.

CFDA Number: 84.395
Program Type: Discretionary/Competitive Grants

The Race to the Top Fund provides competitive grants to encourage and reward States that are creating the conditions for education innovation and reform; implementing ambitious plans in the four education reform areas described in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA); and achieving significant improvement in student outcomes, including making substantial gains in student achievement, closing achievement gaps, improving high school graduation rates, and ensuring that students are prepared for success in college and careers.


  • Who May Apply: (by category) Governors
  • Who May Apply: (specifically) Awards are made to States.

States that receive a Race to the Top grant must use at least 50 percent of the award to provide subgrants to local educational agencies (LEAs), including public charter schools identified as LEAs under State law, based upon LEAs’ relative shares of funding under Part A of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended.

The remaining funds are available to the State for State-level activities and for disbursements to LEAs and other eligible entities under such formulas, competitive processes, or other mechanisms as the State may propose in its plan. LEAs that choose to participate in their State’s Race to the Top proposal must agree to fully implement the State’s proposed plan and to use their funding under this grant in support of that plan.

Applicant Information

The Department plans to make Race to the Top grants in two phases. We anticipate that Phase 1 will open for applications late in 2009, and that awards will be made in early 2010. States that need more time may apply in Phase 2, which is planned to open in late Spring of 2010; these awards will be made in September 2010. States that apply in Phase 1 but are not awarded grants may reapply in Phase 2, together with States that are applying for the first time. Phase 1 grantees will receive full-sized awards and thus may not apply for additional funding in Phase 2. The Department will announce specific deadlines for both Phase 1 and Phase 2 in the coming months.

Notice of Proposed Priorities (July 29, 2009)

The application package for Race to the Top is not yet available. It will be made available in the fall of 2009. In the interim, you can read the Notice of Proposed Priorities.


If you are interested in learning about how we propose to evaluate the progress of states that win Race to the Top, please see the performance measures in the Appendix section in our Notice of Proposed Priorities.


Appropriation: $4,350,000,000
Number of New Awards: To be determined
Average New Award: To be determined
Range of New Awards: To be determined

Legislation, Regulations, and Guidance

  • American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), Section 14005-6, Title XIV, (Public Law 111-5)
    download files PDF (60K)
  • View the Notice of Proposed Priorities.



Read Secretary Duncan’s speeches on:


Name: Beth Yeh
E-mail Address: [email protected]
Mailing Address:
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Rm. 6W219
Washington, DC 20202
Telephone: 202-205-3775
Toll-Free Telephone: (800) 872-5327 or (800) USA-LEARN

Scroll to Top