Minn. submits application for 'Race to the Top' grant

Minnesota education officials have submitted the state's application for a competitive federal grant called "Race to the Top."

The Obama administration has used Race to the Top to reward states that enact education reforms. This third round of $700 million is focused on states with the best plans for early childhood education. Minnesota is asking for $45 million.

More than $20 million would be used in four high-poverty areas — in St. Paul's Promise Neighborhood, Minneapolis's Northside Achievement Zone, the White Earth Reservation and Itasca County.

The rest would fund the infrastructure for pre-kindegarten oversight.

"One of the things in early childhood is we really don't have a system; we've got a lot of fragmented pieces," said Barb Yates, who chairs a governor's task force on early childhood and helped coordinate Minnesota's application. "This gives us some resources to pull that together."

The winning states will be named by year's end.

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