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Governor Paterson: Lift Charter School Cap

By Dave Lucas


Albany. NY – With the clock winding down on New York State's chances to win hundreds of millions of dollars in federal education funding, legislators and educators are at odds over charter schools and how they should fit in the framework of the educational system, as we hear in this report from Capital District Bureau Chief Dave Lucas.

Governor David Paterson and other state officials are racing to change New York education laws so the state can qualify for some of the $4.35 billion federal education funding dollars available. Paterson wants to eliminate the state's 200-school cap: he submitted a bill Thursday to lift the cap.

Paterson is anxious for the Legislature to pass the measure so he can sign it into law by the Jan. 19th deadline in order to qualify for as much as $700 million in federal education aid, specifically "Race to the Top" awards, which are competitive grants available to states that have ambitious plans for education reform.

There are 140 charter schools operating statewide and another 25 have been approved to open by the fall. The Board of Regents is scheduled to consider approving more charter schools next week.