Rep. Rangel joined other officials and lawmakers Tuesday in celebrating New York state's selection and award of $700 million in federal funding as part of the U.S. Department of Education Race to the Top competition.
The federal funding, $250 million to $300 million of which will go to New York City, will go to support and expand a host of reforms, including the creation of a new teacher evaluation system and the strengthening of curriculum and State assessments based on the national Common Core Standards.
"This money could not have come at a better time, not just for our cities and counties, but also for children and families," said Rangel. "By providing funds to re-enforce high standards and quality education, we are not only giving our children the opportunity to reach their dreams, but also developing the kind of leaders our nation needs to remain strong well into the future."
As Dean of the New York delegation, Rangel worked behind the scenes to promote New York's proposal. He met with New York State & City officials, UFT leaders and Department of Education officials - including Education Secretary Arnie Duncan - to ensure that all parties were treated fairly in meeting federal standards. Once a final proposal was completed, he also helped rally other lawmakers to lobby for the state's package.
Rangel congratulated the diverse coalition of education officials, elected leaders and union representatives that all worked on getting the right package in front of Administration officials.
"I want to thank all the people who provided the leadership and put in the long hours to create this winning proposal, starting with our Governor David Paterson, our mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York City Chancellor Joel Klein, UFT Michael Mulgrew, New York State Education Commissioner David Steiner and New York State Regents Chair Merryl Tisch," said Rangel. "Most of all, I'd like to thank U.S. Education Secretary Arnie Duncan and our President Barak Obama for creating this competition so that our children could get the education that they need and deserve.
The Race to the Top funding comes on the heels of more than more than 607 million dollars that New York State will receive through The Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act. The law, which Rangel also championed in the House, was signed this month by President Obama and will help prevent more than 7, 100 teachers from being laid off statewide.
If you'd like to learn more about Congressman Rangel's work on education and what he is doing in Washington and around the district, please visit his website at www.rangel.house.gov.