New York has won up to $696 million in federal education funding after it made changes in its application despite initial opposition from powerful teachers' unions.
New York's grant among is $3.4 billion in grants distributed to nine states and the District of Columbia nationwide Tuesday.
Department spokesman Justin Hamilton says the winners are: Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Washington, D.C. The amounts of the grants are expected to be announced later.
The grant will be critical during a fiscal crisis that forced a $1.4 billion cut in school aid in the current state budget, about a 5 percent cut in aid to public schools.
"This funding would not have been possible without the Legislature approving my proposals to lift the State's charter school cap, link teacher evaluations to student performance, and provide resources to implement a data system that tracks individual student performance. In addition, the hard work of the State Education Department to ensure our application was the strongest it could be was recognized by this significant award for New York's schools," Gov. David Paterson said today.
The competition has instigated a wave of reforms across the country, as states passed new teacher accountability policies and lifted caps on charter schools to boost their chances of winning.
"The $700 million New York stands to receive will provide the resources for a world class education for our children and help train the workforce New York needs to compete in the global economic marketplace," Senate Majority Leader John Sampson said.
The aim of the historic program is to reward ambitious changes to improve schools and close the achievement gap.
Tennessee and Delaware were named winners in the first round of the competition in March, sharing $600 million. The applicants named winners Tuesday will share a remaining $3.4 billion.