Jefferson County Public Schools is one of 893 districts that have announced an intent to apply for new federal “Race to the Top” funding.

Kentucky applied for the federal government’s competitive Race to the Top grants before, and last year the commonwealth received around $17 million after losing the larger grant it applied for.

Now hundreds of districts across the country say they’re interested in competing for local funding.

Competition for the grants will partly depend on a district’s size and whether they meet qualifications as determined by the U.S. Department of Education.

The federal government is taking schools’ prior academic records and a district’s transparency into account when awarding the grants.

Although the Jefferson County Board of Education announced its intent, board member Linda Duncan said she wasn’t aware of the specifics of the grant.

Officials with the U.S. Department of Education said some Local Education Agencies–or governing bodies such as school districts–weren’t required to get a board’s approval to announce interest in applying.

Duncan said although JCPS would have to meet several federal requirements under the grants, the amount of money is worth it.

“Even though we would probably negotiate on those requirements it would make me much more receptive to them,” she said.

Applications are due Oct. 30 and awards will be announced in December. The Department of Education could award between 15 to 25 grants.

JCPS is one of 138 districts that could vie for up to $30 million.