Texas would be in line for up to 700-million dollars in federal stimulus money under the U.S. Dept of Education’s Race to the Top Program. Governor Rick Perry came to Houston to say that Texas will not compete for that money because the state must reserve the right to decide how to educate children.
“Race to the Top is clearly and effort to entice states into abdicating responsibility and surrendering their legal rights, in exchange for some short term immediate money.”
A 5-billion dollar fund would award grants to states to improve education quality and results. This is Houston state representative Scott Hochberg.
“These funds would allow us continue with a lot of the reform efforts that have been ongoing, and efforts that I thought the Perry administration supported, but apparently they don’t.”
Robert Scott, Texas Education Commissioner, says it sounds like a lot of money.
“But when you put that in context of a state the size of Texas, that amount of money would operate the Texas public school system for two days. They would essentially own the process, not just for the remainder of the school year, but in perpetuity under these national standards.”
Gayle Fallon with the Houston Federation of Teachers agrees with Commissioner Scott.
“Education belongs to the states. It does not belong to the Department of Education in Washington, D.C.”
Race to the Top is part of President Obama’s effort to overhaul the nation’s schools. Governor Perry says there are just too many strings attached to a program that he says would not make Texas better.