The Manatee County School District is a finalist for a “Race to the Top” grant, the U.S. Department of Education announced Friday.
The $28.7 million grant would fund a plan to implement science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) labs in elementary schools.
More than 400 school districts across the country applied for the national competition.
Manatee County is one of 31 school districts — and the only one in Florida — to be chosen as a finalist.
“This is an extremely exciting opportunity for our school district and I want to thank everyone who worked on this effort to benefit our students,” said Superintendent Rick Mills, in a press release. “This grant would go a long way in helping to prepare the children of this community for the technology-laden challenges of the future.”
Some of the grant money would go to STEM-related training for teachers, the press release said.
The U.S. Department of Education is expected to select five to 10 winning applications that will be announced by the end of 2013.
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The Tabernacle Christian School middle school student Lauren Medred, an East County resident, earned top vocal honors, taking first place in vocal solo female category of the Florida League of Christian School’s Festival of the Academics and Arts Feb. 28 and March 1 at Southeastern University in Lakeland.
Manatee County schools dominated a state technology competition with five of six top-three finishes earned by Manatee County schools during the 35th annual Technology Student Association State Competition late February.