January 20, 2010 By Tanya Roscorla
As the deadline for the first round of Race to the Top funds loomed on Jan. 19, President Barack Obama announced his plans to continue the program next year.
In his fiscal 2011 budget, which will probably be turned in next month, he proposes $1.35 billion for the competition, which he says will give states more time and incentives to improve education.
"We want to challenge everyone -- parents, teachers, school administrators -- to raise standards by having the best teachers and principals, by tying student achievement to assessments of teachers, by making sure there's a focus on low-performing schools, by making sure our students are prepared for success in a competitive 21st-century economy and workplace," Obama said.
The $4.35 billion race, authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, rewards states that improve student achievement. School districts could also be eligible to win a share of the federal education grants if the race continues next year.
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.