Dancing with the Feds
John Combest links to a fantastic editorial in the Jefferson City News-Tribune that compares the Race to the Top to a reality or game show. The editorial recognizes how bizarre Race to the Top is: We pay taxes to the federal government, then our state jockeys with other states to bring the money back here. Finally, the fraction of our tax dollars that Missouri wins is used to provide services that should have been in the state’s jurisdiction from the beginning. It would be entertaining if it weren’t such a waste of resources.
The editorial concludes:
The unseemly competition for federal dollars will continue until state and local governments join forces on the principled high ground and refuse to play anymore.
Race to the Top is similar to this year’s Census marketing campaign. The end goal of each is for the federal government to distribute money to the states. The difference is that the Constitution mandates a census, whereas there’s no constitutional justification for a race to the top — or for any other federal interference in education.
If Race to the Top is a show, I’d like Missouri to call a friend; we should call Texas and learn from a state that won’t run for the tax dollars.