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P.O. Box 704, Southbury, CT  06488

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Email: info@nheld.com

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Attorney Deborah G. Stevenson, Executive Director



Bulletin #73     Race To The Top     1/15/10



Do you know what consequences there will be to Connecticut’s latest effort in requesting more federal funding for education?


Last year, Congress adopted, and President Obama signed into law, a new proposal regarding public education, colloquially titled, “Race to the Top”.  It established a $5 billion dollar grant program through which the federal government would funnel money to states to “improve educational quality”.  As with all federal grants, in return for receiving the money, states would be required to do certain things.  In addition, the grant eventually is used, leaving in its place the choice to continue the program begun under the grant and fund it using state money, or to end the program.


As with funding for the “No Child Left Behind” federal program, and a myriad of others, states are not required to accept the funding or to implement the program.  They are only required to implement the program “if” the state agrees to accept the funding. 


It seems that the Texas Governor and the Texas Department of Education are saying “no” to applying for or receiving any funding under the newly enacted “Race to the Top” program.  Their reasons for refusing to accept it can be found in the following article:



Connecticut, on the other hand, has taken a different position.  Connecticut’s Governor favors applying for and accepting the federal funding, and so does Connecticut’s Commissioner of Education.  In fact, they are proud to be applying for the grant and anxious to implement the program.  The Commissioner’s statement about the grant can be found on our website at



“Connecticut Prepares Application for Federal Race to the Top Funding.”


The Connecticut Department of Education has been working on its application for the funding since November of last year, but just a few days ago, the Connecticut State Board of Education voted in favor of applying for the federal funding.  You can read the minutes of the January 6, 2010 CT State Board of Education minutes at:



Other minutes are in their archives



As you might also know, one of the candidates running for U.S. Senator, Linda McMahon, currently is a member of the Connecticut State Board of Education.  She voted in favor of applying for the federal funding.


Not only is it important for parents of public school children to be aware of what our Department of Education is doing, it is also important for parents of children in private schools and parents of homeschooled children to be aware.  With federal funding comes federal requirements.  The Supreme Court has interpreted the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause to mean that if a federal law conflicts with a state law, the state law essentially becomes null and void.   There are always unintended consequences to actions. Some consequences may affect you, intentionally, or unintentionally.





Attorney Deborah Stevenson - Executive Director of National Home Education Legal Defense – email : info@nheld.com

Judy Aron - Director of Research, NHELD – imjfaron@sbcglobal.net