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LEGISLATURE GRAPPLES TO QUALIFY FOR FEDERAL “RACE TO THE TOP” FUNDS FOR EDUCATION

 

State's schools, once top in nation, now rank at bottom as budget cuts ravage K-12 and higher education

By Miriam Raftery

December 23, 2009 (Sacramento) – The Obama administration has challenged states to compete for federal “Race to the Top” (RTT) education funds aimed at improving under-performing K-12 schools. California is eligible for $300-$700 million of those funds—provided the Legislature and Governor can agree on changing state laws by January 19, 2010 to qualify for the funding.

TWO CANDIDATES FOR STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION SHARE VIEWS ON STRENGTHENING EDUCATION SYSTEM IN CALIFORNIA

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

October 5,2009 (San Diego)—“Our schools have been left to fall to the bottom of rankings in the nation,” Tom Torlakson told delegates at the San Diego Grassroots Convention in San Diego on September 26th. “In the early ‘70s, we were the best in the nation.”

Gloria Romero, also running for the state’s top education spot, also issued a call to turn around California’s underperforming schools. “It’s shameful that California leads the nation in drop-outs,” she said. “Let’s put education at the top of the Democratic agenda.” She called education “the civil rights issue of our time.” She added, “My mother had a sixth grade education. I have a PhD. That’s the power of education to turn around a life…We spend more on prisons to locok up people than we do on educating our students.”

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