Governor Perry Blasted For Rejecting Race To The Top Funds

Rep. Coleman Statement On Rick Perry Refusing To Compete For Race to the Top Funds


(Houston)- Representative Garnet F. Coleman (D-Houston) released the following statement in response to Governor Perry’s refusal to allow Texas to compete for education dollars:

“It’s shocking that Governor Perry doesn’t even want to let Texas compete with other states for Race to the Top funds.  His argument against applying boils down to the fact that he doesn’t like the teacher that will grade his test.  This is an application that even awards points for his own pet policies – teacher incentive pay and charter school expansion.  He used $10 million in federal funds to create his own teacher incentive pay program in 2005, but he’s willing to go back on his own principles in an effort to score political points.

Maybe Governor Perry should take his own advice and not bother competing for reelection.  At least then Texas schoolchildren would have a fighting chance at a decent education.”

Attached, please find a letter that Representative Coleman sent Governor Perry prior to this decision.  In the letter, Representative Coleman wrote:

“While I disagree with some of the policy stances, they are but two of the many ways to receive points in the scoring matrix.  I believe you may take issue with some of the policy provisions that can receive points.  However, it is important to note that they are not all needed to receive possible grant funds.  Submitting the application for Race to the Top Funds will allow our state to compete with other states for grants.  Race to the Top is not like unemployment insurance stimulus funds, which you turned down because of possible “strings attached”.  This is a competitive program where states that do better will receive larger allocations.

It would be unwise to not let our state compete for funds that could benefit schoolchildren, especially in these tough economic times.  Race to the Top funds could be used for many different programs, like increasing student achievement, decreasing achievement gaps, and increasing the rate which students graduate from high school prepared for college and careers.”

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