Archive for August, 2010

Putting Race to the Top $ into Perspective

August 30th, 2010 by Robert Lowry

I’ve been fielding questions about when districts might receive funding from the state’s Race to the Top grant and how much.

The short answer is I don’t know and it will likely take some time to resolve.

A longer answer might begin, “We all have other things to focus on while the financial details of the Race to the Top grant get worked out.”

As we tried to indicate to school district leaders considering whether to sign memoranda of understanding in support of the state’s application in January and again in June, the primary reason for doing so should be that the grant would provide financial support for valuable state-level initiatives not available from any other foreseeable source, not for its impact on district finances.

Read the rest of this entry »

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It’s official: New York in Race to the Top winners’ circle

August 24th, 2010 by Robert Lowry

New York is among nine states and the District of Columbia announced today by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan as winners of second round funding from the federal Race to the Top program.

New York will receive the maximum grant possible, just under $700 million, to be used over a four-year period.

New York achieved the second highest score among the winning states.  Massachusetts had the highest score. Read the rest of this entry »

Category: Finance, National Policy | 1 Comment »

State Education Department posts 2010-11 School Aid estimates, including federal Education Jobs Fund allocation

August 24th, 2010 by Robert Lowry

The State Education Department has posted projections of 2010-11 School Aid under the state budget as it stands today.

The projections include district allocations from the state’s $607 million share of the federal Education Jobs Fund approved by Congress and President Obama earlier this month. Read the rest of this entry »

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New York wins Race to the Top funding

August 24th, 2010 by Robert Lowry

Various sources are reporting that New York is among the winning states for round two federal Race to the Top grants.  The official announcement will come later today.

See here and here for example.

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Round 2 Race to the Top winners to be announced tomorrow? — UPDATED

August 23rd, 2010 by Robert Lowry

There are so far unconfirmed reports that tomorrow the U.S. Education Department will announce round two winners in its $3.4 billion Race to the Top reform initiative.

UPDATE:  Education Week and other sources are saying it has been confirmed that second round Race to the Top winners will be announced tomorrow

New York is among the 18 states and the District of Columbia competing as finalists this time around.

Also, last week, gothamschools.org reported on how New York State’s August 10 presentation to Race to the Top reviewers went, in the eyes of the state’s team.

The team included Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch, Commissioner David Steiner, State Education Department Senior Deputy Commissioner John King, New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, and New York City teacher union president Michael Mulgrew.

GothamSchools reported Chancellor Tisch said that “no surprises” came from the judges during the state’s 90-minute presentation and question-and-answer session two weeks ago and that she added, “I just thought it was a very fair, frank conversation.”

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Governor, Legislature agree on plan for federal Education Jobs Fund money

August 19th, 2010 by Robert Lowry

Late yesterday, Governor Paterson and legislative leaders released a letter committing to approve a plan to allocate New York State’s $607 million share of funding from the federal Education Jobs Fund approved earlier this month by Congress and President Obama.  They also announced that the state has submitted its application for the funding to U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan. Read the rest of this entry »

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Point-counterpoint on charter school funding

August 18th, 2010 by Robert Lowry

One of the hanging issues left by the Governor’s veto of the budget bill amending provisions of law dealing education is that a freeze on required school district payment levels to charter schools was not extended.  This creates much larger costs for districts, most notably Buffalo and Albany, than they were expecting when their local budgets were adopted.

The Governor  vetoed  the bill because of overall cost concerns, not the charter school tuition freeze, which he included in his proposed budget.

The Buffalo News has run point-counterpoint columns on charter school funding.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Odds and ends

August 18th, 2010 by Robert Lowry

Property tax caps, deteriorating rigor in Regents Exams, releasing student data for individual teachers, political endorsements… Read the rest of this entry »

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Senator Schumer releases unofficial district allocations from federal Education Jobs Fund — UPDATED

August 10th, 2010 by Robert Lowry

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer has released estimates of allocations from the federal Education Jobs Fund for New York State school districts.

The U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation creating the fund today; it was passed by the Senate last week.

New York State’s share of the $10 billion authorized nationwide is $607 million.

The Senator’s estimates are unofficial; the state must adopt an allocation scheme.  There are reports that the State Assembly and Senate could be called back next week to take actions necessary for the state to expend the federal aid.

You can see the Senator’s estimates here.  Again they are unofficial. Read the rest of this entry »

Category: Finance, National Policy | 2 Comments »

January Regents Exams to continue, some other testing cuts to proceed

August 9th, 2010 by Robert Lowry

Last week, the State Education Department announced that it had received sufficient funding in the almost finally finalized state budget to reverse some but not all of the planned reductions in the state’s assessment program.

Perhaps most notably, the Department will continue to administer January Regents Exams.

Here is the Department’s memo outlining planned changes to the state’s assessment program for the coming school year.

Below are the reductions the Department will still implement: Read the rest of this entry »

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