Special Report

N.Y. Gov. Says Foes ‘Blew Off’ Race to Top Bid

By The Associated Press — March 30, 2010 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Gov. David Paterson said Monday he wasn’t surprised that New York missed out on up to $700 million in federal education grants, but he believes the Legislature can act to give the state a strong entry for the next round of funding.

Paterson said he thinks New York could have won $500 million to $700 million in the Obama administration’s “Race to the Top” program to improve public schools if the Legislature made two changes he urged: lifting the cap on the number of charter schools in the state from the current 200 and ending a measure that prohibits student performance from being considered in granting tenure for teachers.

Both were opposed by the state’s powerful teachers unions, which Paterson says also worked against New York’s application. Charter schools are privately operated schools that compete with traditional public schools for students and per-pupil aid.

“Some of my colleagues don’t know what the elements of victory are, or they just deliberately blew off the chance of getting this money,” Paterson said. His budget proposal during the state’s fiscal crisis calls for a $1.4 billion cut in public school aid, which now stands at $21 billion.

The Assembly’s Democratic majority seeks the restoration of some of the school aid in the budget due by Thursday, but it still proposes an $800 million cut to contend with a $9.2 billion deficit.

“We need the money,” Paterson said. “I think it’s one of those situations where we can’t afford the luxury of letting ideological differences get in the way.”

The Senate and Assembly Democratic majorities earlier this year proposed bills to improve the state’s chances but added several measures including those that required greater accountability of charter schools.

Federal officials on Monday awarded Tennessee and Delaware $600 million in grants. Forty states and Washington, D.C., applied for the grant program, and 16 finalists were named this month. Any state can apply for the second round of grants, with applications due in June.

Richard C. Iannuzzi, president of the New York Stated United Teachers, said the union will work on a new application but cautioned: “This should not be about trading values for dollars. First and foremost, it’s about what’s good for kids and what is fair to communities and teachers.”

The Senate’s Republican minority called for swift action.

“There is time to improve the state’s position to receive money from round two,” said Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos of Nassau County. “The Legislature should raise the cap on charter schools as part of the state budget.”

Senate Conference Leader John Sampson, a Brooklyn Democrat, said the Legislature will “not stop running toward the goal of long-term educational improvement.”

Assemblyman Sam Hoyt, a Buffalo Democrat and a leading advocate of charter schools, said that while other states “took dramatic action, New York state did nothing.

“It is clear that the Obama administration is serious in demanding that states make changes to accomplish real reform,” Hoyt said. “Our approach last time was to try to skirt by with the bare minimum that didn’t work.”

Related Tags:

Copyright 2010 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Student Well-Being Webinar After-School Learning Top Priority: Academics or Fun?
Join our expert panel to discuss how after-school programs and schools can work together to help students recover from pandemic-related learning loss.
Budget & Finance Webinar Leverage New Funding Sources with Data-Informed Practices
Address the whole child using data-informed practices, gain valuable insights, and learn strategies that can benefit your district.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Classroom Technology Webinar
ChatGPT & Education: 8 Ways AI Improves Student Outcomes
Revolutionize student success! Don't miss our expert-led webinar demonstrating practical ways AI tools will elevate learning experiences.
Content provided by Inzata

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: May 17, 2023
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: May 3, 2023
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: April 26, 2023
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: March 29, 2023
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read