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Education Grants.jpgCalifornia has made the final round in phase two of the Obama administration's "Race to the Top" education grant competition.

California is one of 19 states to advance to the final round. Thirty-six states applied for a piece of the roughly $3 billion in federal stimulus dollars that will be awarded to states who best demonstrate a commitment to achieving the Obama administration's education goals.

Despite approving sweeping changes to the education system in hopes of winning up to $700 million for public schools, California didn't make the cut in round one of the competition. The state turned to a team of school district superintendents to spearhead the the round two application after its first effort received harsh reviews and ranked 27 out of 41 states competing in round one.

"California's Race to the Top Phase Two application lays out a roadmap for the future of public education in California that empowers parents, embraces accountability, transforms under-performing schools and ensures effective teachers and principals for each student," Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said in a statement. "I am very pleased that the bold reforms being made by our school leaders to improve education for all students have been recognized by the Obama administration."

Click here for a copy of the letter from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announcing the winners. The Associated Press has more on the announcement here.

This post was updated at 2:10 p.m. with a link from the Associated Press.

IMAGE: Education Secretary Arne Duncan speaks about the federal "Race to the Top" school reform grant competition, Tuesday, July 27, 2010, at the National Press Club in Washington. CREDIT: Drew Angerer/ Associated Press.


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