By The Associated Press
FRANKFORT, KY (AP) - Kentucky is among 18 states and the District of Columbia that remain in contention for a share of $3.4 billion in the federal "Race to the Top" school reform grant competition.
The other states are Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and South Carolina.
Gov. Steve Beshear said Kentucky leaders are thrilled to have been named a finalist for a share of education funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Education Commissioner Terry Holliday said Kentucky's application is strong and that he is optimistic about the state's chances of being awarded a share of the money.
A panel of reviewers in Washington will make the final decision with the winners announced this fall.