WASHINGTON (June 30, 2010) - Over the past year, the Obama Administration’s groundbreaking education-reform initiatives have reinvigorated and refocused school-improvement efforts across America. Long before a single dollar was awarded, state after state rose to the challenge and made critical and sometimes long-overdue policy changes, just to qualify for new and substantial federal education investments.
The great promise of these competitive grants has been their ability to drive meaningful and powerful reform to improve student achievement. That promise, however, will be broken if these resources are cut.
Unfortunately, that’s exactly what House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey’s proposed amendment will do. In clawing back $800 million already committed to three critical Department of Education reform efforts – Race to the Top, the Teacher Incentive Fund, and the Charter Schools Program – to help pay for Edujobs legislation, the proposal breaks long-standing promises to states, districts, schools, and students who desperately want, need, and expect real change.
By siphoning money from the grant programs, Congress would derail these bold change efforts. In such places as New York, Maryland, Louisiana, Illinois, Colorado, and California, Race to the Top gave education stakeholders the leverage they needed to upend the systems and policies of the status quo that for generations have failed too many students.
The Obey bill would quite literally swipe hundreds of millions of dollars in already-promised funding. It would quash efforts in communities around the country that are working tirelessly to improve their schools and ensure that all students – regardless of skin color or Zip code – are well prepared for life after high school.
The last thing our country or our children need right now is to roll back hard-won progress in education reform.
Democrats for Education Reform
Education Equality Project
The Education Trust
National Alliance for Public Charter Schools