North Carolina is a finalist in a federal competition for a cut $4.35 billion for education. The U.S. Department of Education says
North Carolina and 15 others are advancing to round two of the "Race to the Top" competition.
The full list of finalists includes Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts,
New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Tennessee.
"These states are an example for the country of what is possible when adults come together to do the right thing for children," Secretary Arne Duncan said.
The number of winners will be determined by the strength of the applications, officials say. It is not clear how much money each winning state will receive. The winners will be announced in April.
The money is coming from the Federal Recovery Act.