New York Risks Losing Hundreds of Millions in Race to the Top Government Grant Funds
New York’s $700 million in grant money from the federal Race to the Top program may be at risk. The state has failed two requirements of the program: to adopt a teacher and principal evaluation system and implement a database to track student records.
In August of 2010, New York state was awarded nearly $700 million after its second Race to the Top application was approved but that funding may be in jeopardy.
The state’s Race to the Top application incorporates reforms enabled by legislation enacted in 2010, which includes the establishment of a new teacher and principal evaluation system that makes student achievement data a substantial component of how educators are assessed and supported.
The most challenging aspect in the development of the evaluation system is administrative and teachers unions must be in agreement with the plans put forth by their respective district.
“We’ve had some great meetings with Paul Csont and Richard Westling, representing the DTA, and we’ve had some nice meetings with Roc Valone representing the administration,” Dunkirk City School District Superintendent Gary Cerne said during the recent board of education meeting. “We have a nice pilot that we’re working on right now and we are, safe to say, ahead of any other district that I know of as far as having things implemented.”
The Dunkirk City School District had budgeted $120,000 for each of the next three years anticipating the aid from Race to the Top.
“Now, it’s going to be a tragic thing if the feds pull the money back because the rest of the state is not progressing as we have, and it looks like that very well could happen,” Cerne said.
New York state education commissioner John B. King Jr. recently suspended about $100 million in federal grants to failing schools in New York City and in nine other school districts to pressure them to reach an agreement with union officials on an evaluation system that could serve as a model statewide.
via Observer Today
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