State Gives Local School Districts $8 Million In Race To The Top Funds

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Tennessee Department of Education announced Wednesday it will grant $8 million in state Race to the Top funds to districts that agree to implement specific initiatives that advance the core purpose of Tennessee’s First to the Top plan. 

The money will be awarded to 83 districts that have chosen to participate in the First to the Top Scope of Work Supplemental Fund. These districts serve more than half of all students in the state.

In order to opt in to the First to the Top Supplemental Fund, districts chose to implement at least one innovative program or strategy in three categories: Teacher evaluation, implementation of the Common Core State Standards, and student assignment. These areas reflect priorities of the state’s original Race to the Top grant, and the districts’ selections will take effect during the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years. For a complete list of district options, please see the attached overview.

“We felt this Race to the Top money would best serve the students of Tennessee at the district level, and we’re excited to see so many districts take advantage of this opportunity,” said Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman. “These funds will allow more resources to be spent on these critical areas across the state.” 

Participating districts have chosen strategies like conducting the February writing assessments online in grades three through 11, using student surveys to count for five percent of a teacher’s evaluation score, and using two observers for at least one of a teacher’s mandatory observations.

Tennessee’s initial $501 million Race to the Top award divided the grant between districts and the state. The $8 million Scope of Work Supplemental Fund comes directly from the state’s Race to the Top portion.

The 2013-14 school year marks the last of the state’s four-year First to the Top grant. Additional information about the First to the Top program is available online here.  

For more information, contact Kelli Gauthier at 615 532-7817 or

Districts Participating in the First to the Top Supplemental Fund Achievement School District:

Athens City

Bedford County

Bells City

Benton County

Bledsoe County

Blount County

Bradford Special

Bradley County

Bristol City

Campbell County

Cannon County

Carter County

Cheatham County

Chester County

Clay County

Cleveland City

Cocke County

Coffee County

Crockett County

Dyer County

Dyersburg City

Etowah City

Fayette County

Fayetteville City

Fentress County

Giles County

Grainger County

Greene County

Greeneville City

Hamblen County

Hamilton County

Hancock County

Hardin County

Hawkins County

Henry County

Humboldt City Schools

Humphreys County

Jackson-Madison County

Jefferson County

Johnson County

Kingsport City

Knox County

Lake County


Lawrence County

Lebanon Special

Lenoir City

Lexington City

Lincoln County

Loudon County

Marion County

Marshall County

Maryville City

McKenzie Special

McMinn County

McNairy County

Meigs County

Metro Nashville

Milan Special

Moore County

Morgan County

Murfreesboro City

Newport City

Paris Special

Perry County

Polk County

Putnam County

Rhea County

Roane County

Robertson County

Sequatchie County

South Carroll SSD

Sullivan County

Sumner County

Trenton Special

Trousdale County

Union County

Warren County

Washington County

Weakley County

White County

Wilson County

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