The Education Law Center noted in 2012 that there was a pattern to the distribution of Race to the Top grants:

The states and districts with the most unequal funding won a large share of RTTT grants.

ELC writes:

Since 2009, the US Department of Education’s (USDOE) Race to the Top (RTTT) initiative has given billions in federal funds to states conditioned on launching various education reforms. The USDOE has awarded these grant funds without regard to how equitably the states fund their schools. States control 90% of all school funding, and successful reform requires adequate resources, especially in districts serving high concentrations of low-income students and students with special needs.

In early December, USDOE announced another round of RTTT grant awards, this time to 16 local school districts or groups of school districts. The 16 award winners will share $400 million to support USDOE school reform priorities.

Once again, the RTTT grant process ignores the key precondition for sustaining any meaningful education reform — a fair and equitable state school finance system. The winning RTTT districts are in 12 states, all of which have serious deficiencies in the way they fund schools. Some of the districts are in states with the most inequitable school funding in the nation.