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City among just a few holdouts on state’s RttT bid

New York City’s decision to hold off on signing on to the state’s Race to the Top application until the charter cap is raised is an unusual one.

The State Education Department is boasting that 94 percent of school districts and charter schools have signed onto the reform plan. That number includes at least one late holdout, Buffalo, whose school leaders until recently sought a moratorium on charter schools.

New York City’s final decision is likely to come down to timing: Legislators are suggesting that the charter cap might be raised before the final Race to the Top deadline on Jan. 19. The (extended) deadline for districts to signal support for the state’s plan is Wednesday.

The state’s complete press release is below the jump:

94% OF SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND CHARTER SCHOOLS SUBMIT SUPPORT FOR STATE RACE TO THE TOP PLAN

To date, over 800 New York State school districts and charter schools, 94% of those eligible, have submitted a signed memorandum of understanding (MOU) supporting the State’s application for Race to the Top funding. To date, 656 School districts of 700 overall and 146 of 154 charter schools have submitted a total of 802 MOUs.

Education Commissioner David M. Steiner said, “We are very pleased at the support demonstrated thus far and are deeply encouraged to have received the commitment of our partners across the State.”

The deadline for submission of the Memorandum of Understanding has been extended to Wednesday, January 13, to ensure that all eligible districts and charter schools are able to demonstrate their commitment to participate in all or a substantial portion of the State’s Race to the Top plan.

Race to the Top is a competitive U.S. Education Department grant that is open to State Education Departments. New York State is eligible to receive up to $700 Million in funds to leverage and align state resources and practices to improve education outcomes for all students and close gaps in achievement.

More details regarding New York State’s Race to the Top application are available on the web: http://usny.nysed.gov/rttt/ .

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