In a surprise move, Gov. Paterson said yesterday he doesn’t plan to push for changes to state laws that experts have warned could jeopardize New York’s chances of raking in hundreds of millions of dollars in federal education aid.
Federal officials have highlighted two state laws in particular — one limiting the number of charter schools to 200 and another prohibiting the use of student test scores in determining whether a teacher deserves tenure — as potential barriers to the state’s bid for a share of the $4.3 billion competitive pot, known as Race to the Top.
While legislation was introduced last week to enhance New York’s standing by scrapping those laws, a spokeswoman for Paterson — who has supported charter schools in the past — said the governor would not be among its boosters.
“At this time, we believe New York state is eligible for Race to the Top funds and that legislative changes are currently not needed,” said the spokeswoman, Marissa Shorenstein.