FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 4, 2010
STATEMENT OF MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG ON NEW YORK STATE BECOMING A FINALIST FOR RACE TO THE TOP FUNDING
"Today, the Obama Administration announced that New York is one of 15 states and the District of Columbia that are finalists to receive a part of the $4.35 billion in Race To The Top education funding. While that's good news, we're not trying to be a finalist - we're trying to be a winner. We have two big strikes against us right now: a cap on charters and a law that may or may not keep us from using data to evaluate teachers before we give them a guarantee of lifetime employment. Given these high hurdles set up by the State Legislature, it's very impressive that the State was able to put together a comprehensive proposal that got us this far. Make no mistake about it: New York's public school students are the match of any, anywhere. But it was only because of a truly remarkable effort by State Education Commissioner Steiner and Regents Chair Tisch that we're still in the running.
"Now we have to work very hard with the Legislature and say that we've got some life here, but we're on life support. Unless they tackle the charter caps and teacher tenure, the likelihood of New York getting a significant amount of monies isn't good. But forget about the significant amount of monies - without action, the likelihood of us educating our kids is not as good, and that is just unacceptable."
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958