LA among 18 states & DC named grant finalists

ATLANTA (AP) - Louisiana is among 18 states and the District of Columbia, named as finalists in the second round of the federal "Race to the Top" school reform grant competition.

It could give them a share of $3 billion.

Department officials provided The Associated Press with a list of the finalists ahead of a speech by Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

The states are: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and South Carolina.

The competition rewards ambitious reforms aimed at improving struggling schools and closing the achievement gap.

Two states, Tennessee and Delaware, were awarded a total of $600 million in the first round.

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