Congressman Tim Bishop announced today that New York schools will receive $696,646,000 in federal funding as part of the Department of Education's competitive "Race To The Top" (RTTT) grant program. RTTT rewards states that are leading the way in comprehensive, statewide education reform.
"Competing in the global economy is truly a race to the top, and young New Yorkers should finish first," said Bishop, a member of the House Committee on Education and Labor. "I pushed hard for this funding and the reform agenda it supports to help ensure all Long Island students are learning the skills they need for a successful future."
According to the New York State Department of Education, the funding New York receives from the competition will help advance the Regents reform agenda through 27 projects over four grant years. $348.3 million of the RTTT funds will be awarded to participating school districts over the course of the grant to support implementation, while $348.3 million will be used to build the capacity of educators statewide and directly support new curriculum models, standards, assessments, teacher and principal preparation and professional development, and the statewide student data system.
States seeking RTTT grants had to establish a clear path of school reform across four key areas:
-Adopting standards and assessments that prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace;
-Building data systems that measure student growth and success, and inform teachers and principals how to improve instruction;
-Recruiting, developing, rewarding, and retaining effective teachers and principals, especially where they are needed most; and
-Turning around their lowest-performing schools.
"This funding will help ensure that Long Island's schools remain accountable to students and continue to be counted among the best in the country," Bishop said.
This funding comes two weeks after Congressional action to save jobs through the Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act. Now signed into law, the Act will provide $608 million to save and create an estimated 8,200 teacher jobs statewide, including approximately 1,200 on Long Island.
With his colleagues, Bishop successfully advocated for New York's share of the school aid to be distributed according to the State's primary elementary and secondary education funding formula, as opposed to the federal Title I formula which would disproportionately disadvantage Long Island.
Bishop is currently working with Governor David Paterson and State Education Commissioner David Steiner to ensure individual school districts receive the earliest possible notification of the funding level they can expect under the legislation, so they can better implement plans to save teachers' jobs and preserve school services for the upcoming academic year.