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Maryland Makes Pitch In "Race To The Top"

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By Matt Bush

Maryland is among 18 states and the District of Columbia vying for a portion of more than $3 billion of federal Race to the Top education money. The state made its pitch this morning.

Five states made their case at the Marriott Wardman Park hotel in D.C. Afterward, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley spotted his Florida counterpart Charlie Crist across the lobby, and had some tough words for him.

"There's Florida...We're much better than you guys," he says.

The small size of the state is one of Maryland's selling points, according to Dr. William Hite, who is the superintendent of schools in Prince George's County. Hite says new state laws make all school districts in Maryland operate by the same rules.

"There are only 24 jurisdictions in the state of Maryland," he says. "We are able to come together, share best practices, learn from each other, and make sure that the interventions that we create met the critical needs of our students."

Eighteen states and the District of Columbia are competing for the money in this round. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan expects to announce the winning states sometime next month. If Maryland is one of the states picked, it would receive up to $250 million in federal money.

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