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R.I. schools to receive $75 million

The Rhode Island Department of Education is halfway through the planning stage for finalizing school districts' reform strategies under the Race to the Top grant award competition.

The Ocean State was officially named a winner on Aug. 24. Though officials applied for the maximum possible award — $75 million — Commissioner Deborah Gist traveled to Washington last month to settle the exact amount.

Rhode Island will receive $75 million, "the full amount we applied for," wrote Elliot Krieger, a spokesman for Gist, in an e-mail to The Herald.

Competition guidelines give the state education officials 90 days to finalize plans for the funds. Officials used the first 30 days, beginning Aug. 24, to draft a calendar outline and the scope of work template, which districts will use to explain their methods for improving schools, according to the department's website.

Individual school districts will submit their plans to the state Friday and will receive feedback a week later. After finalization in November, Rhode Island will submit completed plans to the federal Department of Education, Krieger wrote in an e-mail to The Herald.


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