Kansas fails to make cut for 'Race to the Top' grant

Kansas won't receive any money in the first round of a competitive federal grant.

The U.S. Department of Education today released the 16 state finalists that will vie for $4 billion in "Race to the Top" grants to improve their school systems.

Forty-one states turned in applications in January.

Kansas asked for $175 million, but none of the proposals was a drastic change, state school officials said.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has asked states to look at teacher evaluations and pay, charter schools and starting the lowest-performing schools from scratch.

Colorado, which gained national attention for its aggressive pursuit of the grant, is one of the finalists. The 16 finalists will go to Washington, D.C., to give presentations this month before the selections of the winners.

States that didn't make the first cut for the grant can apply again in June.

Duncan said the federal education department hopes to distribute another $1.35 billion in a third round of the competitive grant.