State officials in D.C. on Race to the top

Georgia officials were in Washington on Thursday to outline plans for the $400 million that's headed to the state as a winner in President Obama's Race to the Top competition.

Other winning states also sent representatives to the U.S. Department of Education to talk in detail of how they'll spend the economic stimulus money that the President wants to channel to state and local school districts for education reform initiatives.

Erin Hames is leading a small group from Georgia, a spokesman for Gov. Sonny Perdue said. Hames has just taken over as chief of staff at the state Department of Education after stints as Perdue's policy adviser and education policy adviser. About $200 million of Georgia's $400 million will stay at the state level, and the rest will go to 26 local school districts that signed on to the state's Race to the Top Application.

The state Board of Education last week committed $1 million of the money to offering the PSAT to 10th graders at no charge. Because of budget cuts, lawmakers had decreed that the test would be free only to qualifying low income students.