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NYS Loses in First Round of The Race to the Top Program

By Jasmyn Belcher

Oswego, NY – New York State has lost its first chance at millions of federal education dollars.

The U.S. Department of Education has selected two states other than New York to receive grant money in the first round of "The Race to the Top" program. Out of 16 states, New York finished 14th.

With Gov. David Paterson proposing more than $1 billion in education aids cuts, and New York State lawmakers unable to close a $9.2 billion budget deficit, Paterson said getting in on the next round of grants is critical.

"We know what we're looking for. We can make those changes. Our other programs almost stand alone, being ahead of so many of the states. I urge my colleagues to take a second glance at "The Race to the Top" competition, how we can win and to look at it through the prism that includes our very, very difficult deficit right now," said Paterson.

Paterson said New York would have a better chance at the money if lawmakers raised the cap on charter schools and linked teacher evaluations to student performance. June 1st 2010 is the deadline to apply for the second round of "The Race to the Top" grants.