Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) says that the government’s “Race to the Top” education initiative allows too much Federal influence on the country’s school system.
Shelby, the ranking Republican on the Banking Committee, said that in certain ways the program gives the Federal government power over decisions that should be determined on the State level, reports Reuters.
“I’m concerned that the scoring process for Race to the Top applications essentially mandates which interventions should be used by States and local school districts to improve student achievement,” Shelby said at a recent meeting of the panel. “The Federal government, I believe, should give States the flexibility to implement critical reforms.”
The Race to the Top initiative involves States competing for $4 billion in Federal grants. The program is part of President Barack Obama’s 2009 stimulus plan, and was designed in part to encourage States to adopt uniform standards.
A number of States have declined to compete for Federal funding offered in the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge, citing the fact that the grants aren’t worth the burden of providing such extensive information to the government, according to The Washington Times.