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Oklahoma City to vie for Race to the Top funds

The Oklahoma City School Board gave district employees a green light Monday to apply for millions in federal funds through the Race to the Top competition.
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL Modified: August 24, 2012 at 6:17 pm •  Published: August 25, 2012

Oklahoma City Public Schools plans to go after a federal grant that could bring $40 million or more to the district to help teachers and administrators tailor their lessons to individual students.

Race to the Top involves a series of federal grants that have been available only to state education departments until this year. On Aug. 12, the U.S. Department of Education announced the details of its grant program for individual school districts. The department plans to hand out $400 million nationwide.

“The heart of the Race to the Top district grant is personalizing the learning environment for students based on their level of mastery and their interests so they are more engaged,” said Jackie Mania, innovative programs coordinator for Oklahoma City Public Schools.

Examples of personalized learning include everything from tutoring programs to mentoring to professional development, she said.

In addition to the major funding, districts can also apply for supplemental grants of up to $2 million each, Mania said. For example, the district could choose to target specific groups of students, such as English language learners or special education students.

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