Senators Tom Kean and Diane Allen, both members of the Senate Education Committee, expressed “disappointment” that N.J. “is woefully unprepared to apply for federal Race To the Top education grants.” According to their press release, “published reports indicate that the state Department of Education ceased working on the application in mid-November.” Both promised to work closely with Governor-elect Christie to make sure we’re ready for the second round in June.
I believe, especially in our current fiscal situation, it is imperative to make every effort to apply for all of the federal aid for which we are eligible. Remember, New Jersey only gets back 61 cents of every dollar we send to Washington. To refuse to apply for a $200 million to $400 million education grant is simply inexcusable.
And here’s today’s editorial from the Record, still the only paper covering the story, bemoaning a missed opportunity: “Perhaps in better economic times we would be more sympathetic. But these are not those times. It’s unfair to students and just plain foolish to sit on the sidelines.”