Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett told me this morning that the state is ending its pursuit for “Race to the Top” funds. “Race to the Top” is a federal program that provides up to $4 billion for states that implement reforms in their education system.
Bennett says there was not enough support from the Indiana Teachers Unions for the state to take a second shot at the funds. Lack of union support was the one of the original reasons Indiana lost out on the first round of “Race to the Top” funds.
Bennett told me this morning he made an offer to the Unions to meet him next Tuesday to work out a deal, however they turned him down.
Had Indiana been a “Race to the Top” participant, it would have received hundreds of millions of dollars for education. Bennett says, for him, Race to the Top was more about reforming schools than money.
However, I can’t help but think of the irony in all this that the teachers unions whine and complain about more money for schools and as soon as they get an opportunity to get more money they turn it down. Hmmm, it must be that whole accountability thing again.