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New York Schools in Running for $700 Million

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New York is in the running to receive as much as $700 million in a federal grant competition called "Race to the Top."

The state one of 16 finalists, attempting to prove to the Obama administration that it can make changes in its educational policies. The Obama Administration supports charter schools and improving teacher evaluations. The sixteen finalists were chosen from 40 states and the District of Columbia.

Federal officials plan to announce the first round of Race to the Top winners next month. Over $4.3 billion in grants will be distributed among the winners.

Mayor Bloomberg says he's pleased New York has a shot, but he says it'll be tough to win until the state changes its policies on teacher tenure and charter schools.

"We have a cap on charters and a law that may or may not keep us from using data to evaluate teachers before we give them a promise of lifetime employment," Bloomberg says. "Those things are not going to help going from finalist to winner."