Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney today applauded the U.S. Department of Education's announcement that New York is among the winners of Phase 2 of the "Race to the Top" program. New York is now eligible for up to $700 million in federal funding, in exchange for enacting education reforms such as adopting more stringent standards for student and teacher performance and increasing the number of charter schools. "We urge our students to strive to be the best and our state led by example in reaching the winner's circle of the Race to the Top. New York's budget is stretched to the breaking point, so this $700 million federal investment in our students could not have come at a better time," said Rep. Maloney.
"As a former teacher, I can tell you that $700 million in federal funding, along with reforms to make our schools better, will be a huge benefit for generations of students to come."
The Race to the Top (RTTT) is a $4.35 billion federal program that requires states to make education reforms in order to win federal grants. The funding was included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, more commonly known as the stimulus package. In January, Rep. Maloney joined with her colleagues in the New York delegation in supporting New York's application for RTTT funding.
To be eligible for RTTT funding, states have to raise standards for students and teachers, and promote greater choice in education, including charter schools. To qualify for funding, the State passed legislation on May 28th to raise the statewide cap on charter schools from 200 to 460 over the next four years, which would mean that New York City could see an increase from 99 charter schools to roughly 250. The deal also included provisions that will require charter schools to serve and retain high-needs kids in numbers similar to those at local public schools.
On July 27th, New York was named one of 19 finalists to receive up to $700 million in the Phase 2 of federal funding from RTTT.