Skip to main content
  1. Life
  2. Education & Schools
  3. Public Schools

Race to the Top funds slippery slope to federal control of education

As a school board member, I am quite concerned about the state of California’s budget cuts to our public schools. I have never suggested that our public schools need more money, but the cuts public schools have endured over the last two years have been difficult, and this year, they will finally be down right draconian.

Recently, the federal government offered a program called Race to the Top, which the state legislature hopes will backfill some of the money public schools lost. Race to the Top is a federal grant program, with $4.35 billion in one-time money being offered to the states. California is potentially eligible for $350-$700 million.

Back in January, the Superintendent, Board President, and Union President of every school district in California was asked to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), making California eligible for these funds. But many Orange County school districts refused to sign the MOU, because the federal government hadn’t released the requirements for districts awarded the money.

The federal government also asked each state legislature to make permanent changes to their education laws to meet eligibility for Race to the Top funds, which California did.  It has now become clear the cost of these new laws governing our public schools will cost the people of California around $1 billion to implement.

Now, let me ask you: If you owned a business, would you sign a contract without being allowed to see the terms and provisions, then agree to make permanent changes to your business practices that cost you more to implement than the amount of one-time money being offered? That is exactly what the federal government has asked of our public schools.

Nothing prevents the Obama Administration from imposing even more stringent federal mandates for districts that receive Race to the Top funds. This is one-time money, and will not support any progress a school district makes.

Given California’s current financial crisis and the climate in Washington, D.C., the political environment is ripe for a federal take over of our public schools. California’s schools desperately need the money and Washington, D.C. is happy to hand it out. Federal spending has increased in the last ten years alone, even though the federal government has failed to pay local school districts what they owe us because of their federal laws.

A federal take over of our public schools is happening incrementally before our very eyes, and it must be stopped. The federal government cannot possibly meet the needs of every school district, because every district is completely different. If this continues, our local school districts could be permanently beholden to Washington, D.C.

I firmly believe the federal government has no business telling local school districts what to do and how to do it. I believe education is a state’s sovereign right, local control is best for every school district, and applaud those districts that stood up to the federal and state governments and just said, “No.”


  • casey 4 years ago

    It looks like you are afraid of valid comments. It is a shame you are a school examiner but unable to answer a question, or support your argument with facts. I am ashamed of a fellow USC graduate.

Add a comment

Join the conversation! Log in here or create a new account if you've never registered before.

Got something to say? is looking for writers, photographers, and videographers to join the fastest growing group of local insiders. If you are interested in growing your online rep apply to be an Examiner today!



  • Dead babies found
    Seven dead babies were found in Utah resident Megan Huntsman's old home
    Shocking Discovery
  • Kendall Jenner
    Get the Coachella looks: Kendall Jenner’s nose ring, green hair and edgy nails
    Coachella Look
  • Dog's Easter basket
    How to fill your dog’s Easter basket with the perfect toys
    Easter Basket
  • Rabbit owners
    Bringing home the bunny: Important information for rabbit owners
    7 Photos
  • Haunted island
    The world’s most haunted island may soon be the most haunted luxury resort
    Haunted Resort
  • Sunken ferry
    Search continues for missing passengers after a ferry sinks off the South Korean coast
    Sunken Ferry

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about and apply today!