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California shot and finally scored in the competition for more federal education dollars, as the state was one of nine winners named Friday in the Education Department's Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge grant program.

But don't count on the funds to relieve California of K-12 cuts. The state will receive $52.6 million, largely to build a new child-care rating system that measures learning environment, teachers and parent involvement, according to the California Department of Education.

California and the eight other states will divvy up $500 million, with the money targeting K-12 school reform plans that, in the words of the Education Department, "raise academic standards, improve teacher and principal quality, build cradle to career data systems and turn around persistently low-performing schools."

The state had previously failed to secure federal grants under the initial round of Race to the Top funding.

The White House announced the grant winners, saying that individual state grants will range from between $50 million and $100 million depending on state population and specific reform plans.


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