Republican New Jersey Governor Lou Christie, upon hearing that his state failed to garner Race to the Top federal grants because his state did not submit an application with the required data, information on the 2008-09 school year, took the blame like a man, that “as governor, he is “ultimately responsible for everything that happens here”
Then he walked that one back. No one was to blame, nope, it was just how the cookie crumbles.
“Maria Comella, a spokeswoman for Christie, confirmed today that an "error" was made on the application but did not say who was responsible. Education Commissioner Bret Schundler and other officials from his department learned of the error when they made an in-person presentation in Washington two weeks ago, she said.”
Then Lou Christie seemed to blame his $400 million edge-out by Ohio to the fact that the application was so thick. Who can have time to read all of that, one would ask. Or hope.
Then as we find out later, Christie effected a last-minute switcheroo and included in his proposal a bunch of Republican concepts that were opposed by the New Jersey Education Association, stuff like merit pay, tenure reform and school choice. When the grant failed to meet the mark everyone ran for cover, it seems, because of the proposal’s inclusion of Republican “reforms.” Such was not the case, however. Obama likes that stuff, you know. Merit pay, school choice.
No, as it turns out the proposal lost points because it failed to meet one of the requirements stipulated by the Department of Education.
Then, recovering, Low Christie blamed the Obama Administration, whose bureaucrats were “checking boxes like mindless drones”. They were just being too picky and it’s all about the fact that he is a Republican.
Tell that to Sonny Perdue of Georgia, a state with a Republican governor that got a RTTT grant.
OK, then Christie leveled his accusatory finger at his education commissioner, and today gave him the sack.
Blame, it seems, is hard to take on oneself.
Tell that one to Texas Governor Rick Perry.
Perry is poised to kiss off Texas’ share of $10 billion, some $830 million in federal education stimulation funds from the $26 billion package recently voted into law. And who is to blame for this fiasco?
Heck no. The blame lays squarely on the shoulders of Congressman Lloyd Doggett who put language in that bill that requires Texas to promise that it will use education funds for education rather than to balance a budget shortfall.
Don’t blame the Governor. Despite the fact that he has a track record for putting all federal stimulation funding into a huge shell game. Hey presto, now you see it, now you don’t.
So the lesson is this, governors who lose out on federal education dollars are blameless. There are far too many people around them to point their fingers at. Blame the governor? Who is kidding whom?
And really, they are absolutely right, these two governors are absolutely blameless. They are only doing what they say that they are going to do, and that is follow the Republican agenda.
No, when states lose federal dollars to save their education systems, you don’t blame their governors.
You blame the people who elected them.