President Barack Obama’s education-overhaul agenda was dealt its first major setback after the U.S. House of Representatives diverted money from charter schools, teacher merit pay and the Race to the Top competition to help fund a jobs bill that would stave off teacher layoffs.
Even a last-minute veto threat by Mr. Obama late Thursday couldn’t prevent the diversion of $800 million, including a $500 million cut from Race to the Top, the president’s showcase initiative that rewards states for adopting innovative education redesigns.
Officials with the U.S. Department of Education vowed Friday to keep the president’s education agenda intact and find other places to make budget trims.
“We’re grateful they passed a jobs bills but not at the expense of the reform efforts we need for our long-term economic interests,” said Peter Cunningham, spokesman for the Education Department.
TJ Mertz offers a number of comments, notes and links on congressional efforts to reduce “Race to the Top” funding and increase federal redistributed tax dollar assistance for teacher salaries.
It is difficult to see the governance and spending approaches of the past addressing the curricular, teacher and student challenges of today, much less tomorrow.