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Press Release

Thursday, November 12, 2009

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

Statement By:
Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith
Regarding Final Race to the Top Guidance

“Today, the U.S. Department of Education released the final guidance related to the Race to the Top competitive grant program. The $4.35 billion in federal funding available through this program represents an unprecedented opportunity for education reform in our nation and I believe Florida is well poised to create an application that stands out among the competition.

For the last several months the Florida Department of Education has been working in partnership with educators, superintendents, principals, the Florida Education Foundation, the Florida School Boards Association, the Florida PTA, and key members of the business community to receive input on Florida’s application for these funds. Although we are in the very early stages of drafting our application, this feedback, along with additional information collected from the public, has helped to set the tone for where we need to be headed and how we can build on the remarkable educational progress we have already been able to achieve.

The guidance has established a January 19, 2010, deadline for the submission of our proposal, so you can be assured we will be working aggressively and collaboratively over the next several weeks to draft an application that represents the progressive nature of Florida’s education system. These are exciting times for education in our state and our country and I look forward to producing an application that will further our states reform effort and continue to improve the quality of education we provide our children.”