BY DIETTE COURRÉGÉ CASEY

dcourrege@postandcourier.com

Charleston County schools would do more to personalize learning environments for students, while Berkeley and Dorchester 2 schools would offer more training for math and science teachers if they receive a requested federal grant.

This is the first round of the U.S. Department of Education’s Race to the Top District competition, and all three districts hope to secure a piece of the $400 million available.

The department received 371 applications for the funding, and that represents more than 1,100 districts nationwide.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan released a statement saying the department wants to fund local efforts that have a clear vision and track record of success.

“We’re thrilled at the response we’ve received from districts across the country that have developed innovative plans to drive education reform in the classroom,” he said.

Up to 25 grant awards ranging from $5 million to $40 million will be made by Dec. 31.