This “Race to the Top” thing is totally stupid. From what I remember, Connecticut failed to get an application in on time and lost out, now New Jersey inserts 2008 budget numbers into a binder – instead of the required 2010 numbers – and they miss out [oh well] on $400 million?
Update (Steve): Yeah, I put $400k in the headline and I thought that was bad enough! Turns out it really is $400 million! It’s so much worse than I thought… There are about 1.7 million kids in New Jersey between the ages of 5 and 18. Assuming all of them are in public school (they are not) that’s $235 per kid.
This type of funding from the federal government towards local education funding is totally unconstitutional, but since the job descriptions of politicians start with the phrase “get as much cash as possible from other districts and states” what can we expect?
This is another symptom of the disease readers!
What part of creating some sort of competition – measured exclusively by who you know and how good your team is at begging for cash – falls into the “support the [national] general welfare” clause of the Constitution? None of it!
I’d certainly blame the administrators in New Jersey for screwing up the application, but Gov. Chris Christie has a point concerning the administration of the program and those bureaucrats who are reviewing the applications. From what it looks like, the application process is paper based, it’s not like the state officials are sitting there entering numbers into a web-based form or anything. Looks to me that there was some sort of proposal binder with a tab and instructions that said “insert 2010 budget numbers here” and by mistake, they inserted one incorrect sheet – out of more than 1,000 – that had 2008 numbers instead of 2010 numbers.
Christie slapped two thick three-ringed binders on the podium containing more than 1,000 pages of the state’s “Race to the Top” application and appendices, noting that just one piece of paper contained the error.
“The first part of it is the mistake of putting the wrong piece of paper in,” Christie said. “It drives people crazy and, believe me, I’m not thrilled about it. But the second part is, does anybody in Washington, D.C. have a lick of common sense? Pick up the phone and ask us for the number.”
Could the federal bureaucrats not see at the very top of the budget table these were 2008 numbers and not 2010 numbers?
“That’s the stuff the Obama administration should answer for. Are you guys just down there checking boxes like mindless drones, or are you thinking?” said Christie. “When the president comes back to New Jersey, he’s going to have to explain to the people of the state of New Jersey why he’s depriving them of $400 million that this application earned.”
We’ll come on governor, you’ve been a thorn in the side of the unions, liberals and progressives across the country, do you really think someone in the federal Department of Education would step up and point out the mistake in your application? Maybe they quietly chuckled and moved on to the next page…
“We’ll take the responsibility we need to take for putting one wrong piece of paper in a thousand page application,” he said. “If you want to take shots, take shots at me.”
And video of course…
UPDATE (Jim): I’ll take one of these please!