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New York State receives education grant from federal government

By By PAT BAILEY

NEW YORK STATE (WKTV) - New York State schools received good news on Tuesday, as more money will come to the state next year from the federal government. U.S. Senator Charles Schumer says New York State is one of nine states set to receive $696 million in grant money from the federal government for the 2011 school year.

The grant, called "Race to the Top," was awarded to New York State after state education officials previously missed out on the first round of the grant.

"It's good news for the students," Schumer said. "It's good news for the schools and teachers, because there will be more of them, and it's good news for the taxpayers because this will not hike local taxes one nickel."

Of the total $3.4 billion grant, New York received the largest amount of the nine states, according to Schumer.

"It is found money, but it's money that is going to improve the quality of our schools for all students," said Assemblywoman RoAnn Destito, (D) 116th district.

Destito says the state made changes to get better and get the grant. Changes included increasing the number of charter schools, and creating a database to follow students' careers, Destito said.

The most important thing the money will go toward is a standardized curriculum, something the state does not have now, added Destito. The standardized curriculum will match the standardized tests students take each year.

"I believe it will add quality to the education system and provide the school districts, the teachers, and the students with the tools to make the districts much better," Destito said.

Despite the fact it won't be used until next year, the grant is welcome news to lawmakers in a year where the state had to cut school aid by $1.4 billion.

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