Charter school operator KIPP DC is one of 61 finalists in the federal government’s $400 million Race to the Top-District grant competition, U.S. Department of Education officials announced Monday.

“We’re very excited,” said Susan Schaeffler, KIPP DC’s chief executive. “This was a heavy lift for all of us to get this application done, make it meaningful — and at this point we’re really excited to be in the top 61.”

The finalists were selected from among more than 350 traditional school systems and charter-school networks that applied for grants ranging from $5 million to $40 million. The Obama administration is offering the money to applicants who develop promising plans to personalize student learning, boost achievement and improve teacher and principal effectiveness.

KIPP DC, which operates 10 charter schools across Washington, is seeking $10 million, mostly to expand the Capital Teacher Residency, a teacher-training program it runs in partnership with another local charter school, E.L. Haynes.

Sixty-seven novice teachers are participating in the program this year. They spend a year working in the classroom alongside a high-performing mentor, learning through that hands-on experience and through coaching and professional development courses.

If KIPP DC wins the federal grant, the program would train 415 teachers over the next four years. Officials anticipate that about 100 would leave KIPP DC and E.L. Haynes after their residency ends to work in other local charter schools.

(Donald E. Graham, chief executive of the Washington Post Co., is a member of KIPP DC’s board of trustees.)

In Maryland, Baltimore City public schools and the Baltimore County Board of Education were both finalists. District of Columbia public schools (DCPS) and Fairfax County public schools both applied but neither was successful.

Education department officials expect to select 15 to 25 grantees within the next few weeks. Winners will be announced by the end of December.