(AP) - The Carson City School District was named one of 16 recipients Tuesday of a competitive, Race to the Top education grant, an award that will provide up to $10 million to help students in Nevada's capital city.
"This is wonderful news for Carson City's students, teachers and parents," said U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., who wrote a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan supporting Carson City's application for the federal grant.
Carson City was chosen as a finalist from among 372 applicants last month. It was the only school district in the state to advance, with Nevada's two largest counties, Clark and Washoe, failing to make the cut.
The Carson City School District serves 7,100 students. Officials earlier said they sought the money to hire 10 teacher/trainers and develop a data system to allow parents to monitor student progress.
The 16 districts chosen Tuesday will share nearly $400 million.
"Districts have been hungry to drive reform at the local level and now these winners can empower their school leaders to pursue innovative ideas where they have the greatest impact - in the classroom," Duncan said in a statement announcing the winners.
The original Race to the Top competition, announced in 2009 as part of President Barack Obama's education package, provided more than $4 billion in grants to states that undertook ambitious education reforms.
In August the education department opened the competition to school districts, inviting the poorest districts around the country to compete for almost $400 million in grants. Eligibility limited applications to those districts having at least 2,000 students, with 40 percent or more who qualify for free or reduced-cost lunches.
Reid said Carson City's plan "will create a learning environment where the students' goals can be clearly identified and progress can be monitored."
"Students, teachers and parents will be invested in student achievement and will work to prepare students for success in college and the workplace," he said in his letter of support.