COLUMBIA — For the second time, South Carolina has missed out on millions of dollars in federal money for education reform.

The U.S. Education Department said Tuesday that nine states and the District of Columbia will get money in the second round of the $4.35 billion “Race to the Top” grant competition.

South Carolina was again in the running as a finalist. It placed sixth in the first round earlier this year, but only Tennessee and Delaware were chosen to split $600 million.

South Carolina applied for $175 million this time. Neighbors Georgia and North Carolina were among the winners.

The program is part of President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus and is designed to reward states for innovative reforms to improve student achievement.

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