Green Dot Public Schools, a 12-year-old charter organization, was named Monday as a finalist for a prestigious federal grant, one of four California groups to qualify for Race to the Top money.

Green Dot hopes to win a $30 million, four-year grant, which it would use to boost its science and social studies courses, expand its use of technology and strengthen its support of college-bound students.

Los Angeles Unified had applied for a $40 million grant, but failed to qualify because it lacked the required endorsement of United Teachers Los Angeles.

The other California finalists are the Galt, Lindsay and New Haven school districts. They are among 61 finalists culled from 372 applications.

The U.S. Department of Education will announce the winners of the $400 million grant program by year's end.