In refusing to participate in the Obama Administration’s “Race to the Top” program earlier this week, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is simultaneously standing up for our rights under the U.S. Constitution while ensuring our kids have a chance to really be at the top.

What makes this second phase of “Race to the Top” such a scam, like the first phase earlier this year, is that many of the standards states and schools taking the money will have to live with are still undeveloped. It’s reckless policy to agree to a deal when the paper is still unmarked, yet that’s precisely what the Obama Administration is asking cash-addicted state “leaders” to do.

Make no mistake here. The governor is right to refuse to participate in the federal government’s current push to take over our schools.

While some states are chasing federal funds at any cost, Texans are realizing that a federal takeover of education would mean weaker standards; decreased student performance; and higher taxes.

It’s sickening to watch so many other states sacrifice their 10th Amendment right to govern the affairs of their public schools in exchange for illusionary “race to the top” funds. In almost no time, those federal dollars will be gone, but the mandates and DC-centered control will live on.

Nowhere does the U.S. Constitution give the federal government any power or authority to be involved in public education. That is left exclusively to the states, except where the states (in exchange for very costly “free” money) allow it.

By letting the union-appeasing, mandate-heavy federal government control education policy, the Obama Administration is pushing the states into a muddled mess of mediocrity.

By rejecting these new encroachments, and keeping the state in the driver’s seat on public education, the governor is giving Texans the chance to lead… and let our kids actually have a chance to make it to the top.


Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, and a dog. Check out his podcast, Reflections on Life and Liberty.

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