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June 14, 2012
For More Information Contact:

Jonathan Burman or Jeanne Beattie

(518) 474-1201


King Announces Race To The Top Grants

State Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr. announced the State Education Department (SED) is accepting applications for three education grant programs funded by federal Race to the Top (RTTT) funds.  The New York State Education Department is committed to dramatically improving the State’s lowest performing schools and creating and sustaining new, innovative, high-quality education options for all students.

"We’re putting RTTT funds out into the schools where students need the most support," King said.  "Our goal is to make sure every student in New York graduates from high school with the skills to succeed in college and careers.  These grants will help move us closer to that goal." 

These three competitive programs align with the Department’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) waiver application that the U.S. Department of Education approved on May 29, 2012 (see

The Systemic Supports for District and School Turnaround Grant provides $23.3 million in SED’s Race to the Top funding to eighteen eligible school districts.  This grant program will support districts in building their capacity to reframe systems and structures to both support and hold schools accountable; and to provide school building leadership assistance in designing and implementing the school-level conditions necessary to support the implementation of the Common Core, a system of teacher effectiveness, and a cycle of data-driven inquiry and action.  Eligible districts include all of the State’s "Big 5" school districts and several small city districts. The Systemic Supports RFP is posted at

SED will also award up to $27 million in School Innovation Fund Grant (SIF) Round 2, which will be awarded through a competitive RFP process.  Through this grant program, NYSED will identify school districts and key partner organizations that are jointly committed to the rigorous work required to redesign and turnaround schools into high-performing, high-quality organizations. Eligible school districts must partner with one Lead Partner or a Partner Consortium in a proposal to launch a whole-school redesign of an existing school within any one of the following design frameworks:

  • College Pathways School Design
  • Community-Oriented School (wrap-around services) Design
  • Arts and/or Cultural Education School Design
  • Career and Technical Education (CTE) School Design
  • Virtual/Blended/Online School Design
  • Network-Affiliated School

The SIF 2 RFP is posted at

The Commissioner’s Schools Dissemination Grant provides $1.5 million in SED’s Race to the Top funding to award five highest achieving or high progress schools, selected through a competitive application process, grants of up to a maximum of $150,000 each year for two years. These schools will be designated as "Commissioner’s Schools" and will receive special recognition by the Commissioner for their efforts and successes.  A List of Eligible Schools that meet the criteria can be found on pages 46-51 of Appendix C to the RFP (  The Commissioner’s Schools will use funds to 1) disseminate their best practices to selected low performing schools and mentor them in replicating these practices and 2) enhance their own award winning educational programs.  SED intends to award funds by October 1, 2012.  The Commissioner’s Schools RFP is posted at