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News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 25, 2011

For More Information Contact:
Jane Briggs, Jonathan Burman or Tom Dunn at (518) 474-1201
Internet:  http://www.nysed.gov

 

NEW YORK STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT WINS
$113 MILLION IN FEDERAL GRANTS TO
INCREASE PUBLIC SCHOOL CHOICE OPTIONS

The United States Department of Education (USDOE) has awarded the State Education Department grants totaling more than $113 million over five years to increase public school choice options throughout the state. Fourteen states applied for grants under the federal Charter Schools Program competition, but only New York and Florida succeeded in winning grant awards. The Program provides funding to states to create new, high-quality public charter schools and disseminate the best practices of existing charter schools.

Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr. said, "I’d like to thank President Obama and Secretary Duncan for providing these grants, which I know will have a direct and positive impact on the lives of many New Yorkers. This funding will help us turn around our lowest performing schools and replicate what we know works in successful charter and district schools."

The grants will provide start-up funding for new public charter schools to open across the state. Specifically, New York’s successful grant application calls for the state to use its funding to provide incentives to open schools that serve high-needs students; to replicate and expand quality schools and networks that have proven results; and to turn around the state's lowest performing schools.  In approving New York's application, USDOE raters praised the commitment that Commissioner King and Assistant Commissioner for School Innovation, Sally Bachofer, have shown in advancing high-quality public school options in New York.

Regents Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch said, "The Board of Regents believes that quality charter schools, when carefully selected and held accountable for their results, are an important element in making good public schools available to the children of our state. This grant helps ensure there will now be more high-quality options available to New York’s families."

New York’s grant is for fiscal years 2011-2016; it is the largest such grant New York has ever applied for or won. Yearly award amounts are as follows:

Project Year 1:            $28,259,451
Project Year 2:            $22,575,043
Project Year 3:            $22,575,043
Project Year 4:            $20,800,097
Project Year 5:            $19,133,431
Total:                       $113,343,065

New York’s successful grant application also calls for an enhanced collaborative effort among the state’s charter authorizers, the "Quality Charter Authorizer Partnership." Staff from the State Education Department’s Charter School Office, the Charter Schools Institute at SUNY, and the Charter Schools Office of the New York City Department of Education will work together to improve authorizing practices and contribute to state and national charter school authorization and policy dialogue.

SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher said: "Charter schools are a critical component in educating New York's students, and this federal support will help bolster our state's already exceptional track record in authorizing quality K-12 charter programs by both SUNY and the State Education Department.  SUNY is the largest authorizer of charter schools in the nation and has often been referred to as a leading example of rigorous accountability and quality control. We thank President Obama and Secretary Duncan for this much needed support and look forward to partnering with Commissioner King in utilizing these additional funds to bring that distinction to the next level."

SUNY Board of Trustees Education, College Readiness, and Success Committee Chairman Pedro A. Noguera said: "These grants will serve as an important catalyst for charter school development and will benefit children throughout the state, particularly in urban areas and our most underserved communities. The Obama administration should be commended for recognizing both the importance of charter schools in America's education system, as well as the quality of New York's authorizing bodies and their potential to provide an even higher level of support and oversight."

"I was excited to learn that New York State will be on the receiving end of more than $100 million that will help us build on our already successful charter program" said New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott. "This funding will be a valuable resource in creating new and excellent schools that expand options for students and parents across the City and the State. We look forward to partnering with the New York State Department of Education to create more high-quality schools for our children."

"This award is a tremendous victory for New York's kids," said Greg Richmond, President and CEO of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA). "The New York State Education Department has committed itself to implementing best practices for authorizing charter schools. This grant acknowledges their dedication to providing the best education opportunities to the families of New York."

James Merriman, CEO of the New York City Charter School Center said, "The federal Charter Schools Program’s grant award is terrific news for educational quality in New York State. This funding will not only help new charter schools get started, it will strengthen their oversight and help them share best practices with other public schools.  Secretary Duncan, Commissioner King, and their respective staffs deserve great credit for facilitating this investment in New York’s children."

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New York State Board of Regents
The State Education Department / The University of the State of New York / Albany, NY 12234
Office of Communications / (518) 474-1201

Last Updated: July 25, 2011