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A new $550 million pot of money for another Race to the Top contest will have to be split between two education-policy worlds: early education and district-level reform. But just how the Education Department will take a relatively small slice of money to leverage big change in both arenas remains to be seen.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan told Congress in a hearing last week before the House subcommittee that oversees education spending, according to prepared remarks: “I’m happy to report today that thanks to your continued support for comprehensive education reform, we plan to use our [federal fiscal year 2012] Race to the Top funds for both a district level competition and another round of Early Learning Challenge grants.”

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