Manatee County made the list of finalists in the federal governments latest version of its Race to the Top grant competition, meant to spur innovation in education.
The program, which offers nearly $400 million to local districts to personalize and deepen student learning as well as improve student outcomes, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
In all, there were 61 finalists around the country, including five in Florida. Other district finalists from the Sunshine State: Broward County, Charlotte County, Miami-Dade and Seminole County.
The U.S. Department of Education is expected to pick 15 to 25 winning applications from the Race to the Top competition for districts in December. The four-year awards will dole out between $5 million and $40 million to individual districts; the size depends on how many students are served.
Core components of Manatee's application for $5.1 million includes a new performance appraisal systems for teachers and principals; professional development; a bio-medical career and technical academy; and increased learning opportunities for students.