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 Kelli.Gauthier@tn.gov

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

Lauderdale

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


Lu And Liu Take First Place In Lee’s Piano Competition

Yun Lu and Vincent Liu took first place in the 12th annual Lee University piano competitions for the collegiate and pre-collegiate divisions, respectively. The award ceremony concluded the International Piano Festival and Competition held June 12-18.  For the pre-collegiate division, second place was awarded to Jonathan Reichenberger, with third place going to Eriko Darcy ... (click for more)

Georgia Northwestern's GED Center To Hold Orientation

Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s (GNTC) GED Center is holding an orientation for the public on  June 28 and July 12 at 2 p.m.  Visitors will learn what to expect if you choose to enroll in the college’s GED preparatory classes at the college’s Chattooga County location. These free sessions will be held at the Summerville Adult Education Center at 152 Senior ... (click for more)

Family At Bedside Of Legendary Lady Vol Coach Pat Summitt

The family of legendary Lady Vol coach Pat Summitt was at her bedside on Sunday. Erin Freeman, of the Pat Summitt Foundation, released this statement: “On behalf of Pat Summitt’s family, we acknowledge the past few days have been difficult for Pat as her early onset dementia, ‘Alzheimer’s Type,’ progresses. "She is surrounded by those who mean the most to her and during ... (click for more)

Firefighters Put Out Fire In Compost Pile At City's Wood Recycling Center

Chattanooga firefighters were called to a fire at the city's wood recycling center on N. Hawthorne Street around noon on Sunday. Battalion Chief Don Bowman said the smoke and flames could be seen from several miles away.   Firefighters with five fire companies worked to get the blaze under control, using master streams from two aerials and some hand-held hoselines. The ... (click for more)

Improvements Needed At Entrance To Wilcox Tunnel

I am writing this letter to bring to your attention to a city traffic issue that needs to be addressed immediately, the sooner the better. I can see no large cost factor.   Recently, while as a concerned citizen, removing trash and litter from the entry/exit area of the Wilcox Tunnel on the side that runs into Chamberlain Avenue, I fully realized that this area could ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Where Will George Go?

George Will, easily one of the most respected conservative columnists in America and a Republican commentator, was a guest on Fox News Sunday yesterday when he made a very revealing statement. He announced he has left the Republican Party “for the same reason I joined it” and that he is not only disappointed by the party’s actions but its increasingly-inept leadership as well. ... (click for more)