Though the state was named one of 16 finalists for federal "Race to the Top" funds for education, the U.S. Department of Education picked Delaware and Tennessee as the first round winners, getting $500 million and $100 million, respectively. The Obama Administration chose those two states for their "aggressive plans to improve teacher and principal evaluation, use data to inform instructional decisions, and turn around their lowest-performing schools."
One of the main reasons New York wasn't awarded the money is the state's charter school policy. The charter school cap is currently at 200 for the state, and lawmakers would have had to raise that by the January deadline. Bloomberg butted heads with Albany over the last attempt at charter school reform, calling the bill "a wolf in sheep's clothing." However, now he says Albany's inaction in instituting the reform is what cost the state the money, according to NY1. "When you see the cuts that will invariably hurt our public education system throughout the state, thanks to the budget problems that the state has, remember 700 million of them could have been mitigated or eliminated, simply by the state passing two pieces of legislation that so many other states have already passed."
The federal government says the deadline for the next round of the $3.4 billion left in funding is June 1, and will be posting all the Phase 1 applications online next week as guidelines for other states. They're also changing one rule for Phase 2 and requiring all states' budgets to be between $20 million-$700 million. In the last round, New York requested $831 million in funds.