Minnesota's quest for "Race to the Top" stimulus dollars for education is shaping up to be a relay.
State officials set out Monday on a four-day, 10 city tour seeking input on school changes that would help Minnesota land more of the competitive grants.
The pool of more than $4 billion will be spread among states that toughen academic standards, find better ways to recruit and keep effective teachers, track student performance and have a plan to turn around failing schools.
State Education Commissioner Alice Seagren said Minnesota could have a head start because of programs like QComp, which structures teacher salaries to factor in performance as well as seniority.
Nonetheless, a stakeholder group of education, business and civic leaders are seeking extra ideas that could be incorporated into a state application.
The information sessions are planned for Roseville, Rochester, St. Cloud, Marshall, Mankato, Bemidji, Thief River Falls, Fergus Falls, Proctor and Mountain Iron.