Eventual loss could be much more than $175 million
Yesterday’s meeting of the Kentucky legislature’s Education Assessment and Accountability Review Subcommittee (EAARS) brought some very frank comments from Kentucky Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday.
The Courier-Journal captured some of them, writing:
“I don’t think (our Race to the Top application) will be in the top 10,” he said, adding that he expects only eight to 10 states to win money. “We’ll give it our best shot. I hope I’m wrong.”
As the Courier also mentions, Holliday indicated some immediate impacts of a Race to the Top loss would be delayed implementation of the new assessment programs required by Senate Bill 1 from the 2009 Regular Legislative Session.
However, Holliday said more(I attended the meeting).
Aside from losing the $175 million that would come with a Race to the Top win, Holliday said Kentucky could also tap an additional $10 million to form charter cooperatives with colleges.
Holliday further added that private foundations like the well-known Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are also poised to add massive private donations to those states that win Race to the Top awards. The commissioner says it is doubtful those private awards will be coming to states that lose in the Race to the Top competition. Clearly such awards could easily run to many millions more.
Holliday again asked the legislators at the EAARS meeting, who come from both the House and the Senate, to reach an agreement on charter school legislation so the governor can add charter school consideration to his announced call for the special legislative session that begins on May 24, 2010.
Based on the commissioner’s comments, in round figures Race to the Top and the charter schools we will need to win the competition could bring us a lot more than $175 million, perhaps more than $200 million.
That’s an awful lot of money to walk away from just so legislators can appease a self-focused teachers’ union. Sadly, that union increasingly seems to show us it doesn’t have much interest in the best interests of the children and the Commonwealth of Kentucky in general.
One last note. I was pleased to see reporter Stephenie Steitzer from the Courier at yesterday’s meeting. A lot of important things have been happening at EAARS meetings, but the media have largely ignored coverage of this important group. Hopefully, this will start a new trend.