New York submitted its second application for Race to the Top grant program yesterday after a long, controversial battle to raise the cap on charter schools. The previously low cap was just one of many problems with the state's initial application, which came in close to last and contained some really strange furniture requests. 35 states and the District of Columbia have all applied for $3.4 billion in funding, but Todd Ziebarth, vice president of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, told the Daily News, "My sense is that New York has significantly increased their competitiveness."

Not only did the state raise the cap on charter schools from 200 to 460, but it earned the support of 70% of the local teacher unions—up from 61% the last time around. The state has also vowed to use $20.4 million of the funding to develop a test data system that will track student performance, and has approved linking teacher evaluations to student test scores.

New York State United Teachers president Richard Iannuzzi said, "I think New York failed to succeed in Round One because it lacked collaboration with teacher unions. [State officials] understood that and found a real need to come to the table to work collaboratively." Winners will be announced in August, and officials say they hope to award funding to up to 15 states.