Governor Andrew Cuomo (Getty)
Governor Cuomo launched a new program today that will transform the way grants are awarded to public schools around the state.
“New York must be the leader when it comes to education reform and this begins with improving performance on all levels,” Gov. Cuomo said. ” For too many years, our state has spent more and more money on education, without producing the results our students deserve. This competitive award program will incentivize innovative reforms in school districts across the state that will benefit students and help educate the workforce of tomorrow.”
The School District Performance Improvement Awards program will distribute up to $75 million in grants to school districts that have demonstrated success in increasing student performance. In the past, grants have been awarded through formula-based grants that don’t include performance incentives.
According to Mr. Cuomo’s office, New York spends more money on public schools per pupil than any other state, but currently has the country’s 11th worst graduation rate. Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver both expressed support for the program.
“Over the past year, I have worked together with Governor Cuomo to find ways to improve New York’s educational system while keeping in mind the tough demands of the current fiscal climate. As we continue to work on much-needed education reforms, our students will always be the top priority,” Mr. Skelos said.
“I have always been a strong advocate for educational programs that benefit our students, and I am pleased that Governor Cuomo shares our goals and knows that our children deserve a high quality education,” Mr. Silver said.
Applications for grants are due to the State Education Department by January 17, 2012. The first awards will be distributed before the end of this school year. Districts that do not receive awards are eligible to reapply.