Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

HISD may race to the top

Despite the earlier decision by Governor Perry to not let Texas compete for “Race to the Top” stimulus funds, school districts like HISD may get the chance to apply for them on their own.

President Barack Obama announced Tuesday that he would seek $1.35 billion in next year’s budget to expand the $4 billion grant contest and let individual school districts — instead of just states — apply.

The Democratic president took an indirect jab at Republican Gov. Rick Perry, who said last week that Texas would not compete for as much as $700 million in Race to the Top funds. Obama said that opening up the contest would help “innovative districts like the one in Texas whose reform efforts are being stymied by state decision-makers.”

Obama likely was referring to the Houston Independent School District, which last week adopted a policy linking student test scores to teachers’ job evaluations and dismissal decisions — a key part of the president’s education reform agenda.

HISD Superintendent Terry Grier, who lobbied the Obama administration for a grant contest for districts after Perry opted out of the competition, said Texas’ largest school system would be well positioned to win funds.

“We have an independently elected board of education,” Grier said. “I believe they are uniquely positioned to make the decision as to whether or not the district should apply for these types of funds. But I was excited to hear the president’s standing.”

School officials from Galveston and Clear Creek also said they would be interested in competing for money. Some district leaders, however, expressed concerns about possible federal mandates attached to a grant.

School Zone has more. If the argument against these funds is the conditions that come with them, what do you say to a school board that is willing to accept those conditions? I don’t have a position on this, I’m just wondering what, if anything, Governor Perry will try to do about it.

Related Posts:

One Comment

  1. Jesse Alred says:

    Obama’s education policy promotes an attack on our public schools by pushing transfer of limited resources to private charter schools, while denying parents real choice when it killed the popular District of Columbia voucher program.

    The policy flows from the powerful connections the private charters have, not the needs of students or any consistent principles.

    Even liberals need to remember Chicago political machines have been more about sustaining its own power than about delivering the goods for the working class.

    I disagree with the Governor on many issues, but this shows it is sometimes good to have a leader who is willing to dissent, not a team player hack.

    If Obama had been as much a fighter for national health care as Perry continues to be for federalism we would have health insurance for all Americans next yea, not a insurance company regulation plan.