San Francisco (GaeaTimes.com) – The Race to the Top, the ultimate education game show is gathering some heat. The State Finalists are being chosen this week. According to some officials, the competition has spurred some innovation in public education by luring funding during these tough financial times. Several States are now lifting limits on charter schools and an overhaul is made on the ancient teacher evaluation system taking steps toward performance pay. Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education, announced at 10:30 a.m. that 16 states have been selected as finalists in the federal Race to The Top education stimulus for money. The news was received with a cautious welcome when the districts are dealing with huge deficits and continuously slashing their budgets to get state education cuts. $4.35 billion will be awarded to states that promise to implement innovative education reform plans over two rounds.