Beginning this week, nine states that were the runner-up finalists from last year’s Race to the Top competition can apply for a portion of the $200 million Race to the Top round three fund, the Huffington Post reports. The Department of Education announced Wednesday that Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and South Carolina can seek funding for part of their Race to the Top plan, which should include a focus to improve science, technology, engineering and math education.

“Race to the Top round three will enable these nine states to further their reform efforts already underway and help them get better faster,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said Wednesday. The grants will range from a maximum possible $12.25 million for Colorado to $49 million for California. Grant figures depend on state population and are adjusted based on assurance compliance and application proposals…

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