Thursday, August 26, 2010

Senator Addabbo Reports to His District on New York's Race to the Top Award

Member, NYS Senate’s Education Committee, Made Reform & Funding a NYS Priority

NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., is pleased to report to his people that New York is among the nine states and the District of Columbia that will receive more than half a billion dollars in federal stimulus education funding under round two of the Race to the Top (RTTT) grant program. The Department of Education officially announced the winners on Tuesday, August 24. Congress appropriated $4.35 billion for the Race to the Top Fund.

The 10 winning applicants have adopted rigorous common, college- and career-ready standards in reading and math, created pipelines and incentives to put the most effective teachers in high-need schools, and all have alternative pathways to teacher and principal certification.
New York will receive $696.6 million from the grant program to implement 27 State projects over the four-year grant period. It is estimated that $477 million will pass through directly to local school districts, allocated as follows:
  • $348 million will be awarded in subgrants to participating Local Education Agencies (LEAs), comprising 50 percent of the RTTT budget.
  • $106 million will be awarded as Supplemental Funding for LEAs and $23 million will be awarded to LEAs that do not receive a share of the 50 percent of the State’s grant award (see above).
  • Additional projects within aforementioned amounts in support of Race to the Top initiatives will be identified upon receipt of work plans and budgets from the LEAs.
The remaining $219 million will be spent on various projects. The largest projects are those directly affecting all LEAs and those that build the capacity of educators and directly support the development and launch of new, foundational systems. These include: curriculum models, adopting standards and K-12 formative assessment; instructional improvement system construction and rollout, and integration of higher education, the External Technical Assistance Center for Innovation and Turnaround; and the competitively awarded Full-Service School Model Fund.

There is statewide support for the Race to the Top plan. Around 86 percent of LEAs have signed on to the plan, representing 98.2 percent of students in poverty in New York State.

Noting that New York placed 2nd overall in Phase II of the competition, Senator Addabbo said, “My congratulations really go out to all families with schoolchildren in my district, in Queens County, and around our state, now that New York is one of nine states, along with the District of Columbia, that made the cut from originally 35 states, then 18 state finalists, in the Race to the Top competition.
“During this second round of the application and selection process, the Senate passed bills to raise the charter cap from 200 to 460, reform charter schools, improve teacher and principal evaluation and invest in implementing a data system to track individual student performance. We worked with the New York Congressional Delegation, the state’s executive and legislative branches, the State Education Department, Mayor Bloomberg, Chancellor Klein, and teamed up with our education and labor community at NYSUT, UFT and the charter movement for one goal -- to make the grade for our kids, win this money, and lead them toward a bright and prosperous future.
“Despite the current economic shortfalls faced by our state and our city, I will continue to work hard to ensure that education funding is always a top budget priority. My constituents and all New Yorkers deserve to have top-notch schools that prepare their kids for the challenges they’ll face in a fiercely competitive 21st century global economic environment. This new funding will give them a solid foundation for academic success and help a new generation of leaders and achievers emerge in our Empire State.”
Senator Addabbo intends to continue to monitor the allocation of the near $700 million dollars for our schools.