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Scott rips feds for not giving Fla Race to the Top dollars

by John Kennedy | December 16th, 2011

Gov. Rick Scott ripped the Obama administration Friday for rejecting Florida’s application for Race to the Top education dollars, deriding the decision as stemming from the state’s refusal to accept the money “with strings attached.”

Nine states were authorized by federal officials to share $500 million in grant money aimed at accelerating  improvements in early childhood programs. California, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island and Washington state will get the dollars to make strides in pre-kindergarten education.

Scott said he suspected Florida was turned down because the state did not commit to continuing programs after federal dollars expired — a move he said was aimed at avoiding making state taxpayers pick up the tab for new government services.

 ”When Florida’s application was submitted for the grant in October, we made it clear that we would not accept grant money with strings attached, additional state spending obligations, or requirements that created new burdensome regulations on private providers,” Scott said.

 ” We stuck to our principles, and unfortunately our insistence against irresponsibly using one-time dollars for recurring government programs did not win the favor of the administration in Washington,” he added.

Race to the Top, the centerpiece of Obama’s education policies, has proved a thorny issue for Republicans. In the GOP presidential field, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is a staunch opponent, while Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, is a fan.

The funding approach also supports many of the early-learning measures promoted by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and state legislative leaders.

Still, Scott defied tea party activists in October when he submitted the state’s application.  But he was lured by the prospect of winning as much as $100 million in federal cash for the state — in a year when he wants to pump-up Florida K-12 spending by $1 billion.

Scott insisted, though, that he wouldn’t go along with federal officials dictating terms for how the state spent the money.

Florida won a $700 million federal grant under the program last year, in its second attempt at landing the cash. But Scott has pushed back millions of dollars in aid tied to Obama’s health care overhaul. The state’s Tea Party Network, also openly demanded in the fall that he steer clear of the Race to the Top effort.

But for all the line-in-the-sand drawing, Scott in September agreed to some conditions in advance of the application.

At Scott’s urging, the Legislative Budget Commission accepted a $3.4 million federal grant under the Affordable Care Act to provide home visiting services to at-risk families. Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, was among those urging against the move, saying the program’s mission was murky, and he feared it could result in the state facing additional costs.



8 Responses to “Scott rips feds for not giving Fla Race to the Top dollars”

  1. Downtown Danny Says:

    So psycho Scott turns down millions from the Feds to care for the retarded and disabled leaving them to fend for themselves because he does not like the Health Care Act, he turns down $500 million to build a high speed rail THAT FLORIDIANS VOTED FOR, and now he whines about not getting Fed cash?
    This creep must be recalled before he steals everything that our state has and gives it to his crooked Republican pals.

  2. Geffory Kremser Says:

    @Downtown Danny

    “Psyco Scott”, “recall”? Governor Scott was definitely correct in turning down the High Speed rail project as over the long term Florida would have lost billions of dollars on the deal for a short term economic stimulus project. High speed rail between Tampa and Orlando is not a good idea nor would it prove to be financially sustainable yet the Tax payers would have been responsible for cost overruns and for the continued operation of the system long after the federal support would no longer available. If you look at Scott’s statements surrounding the “Race to the Top” dollars he clearly says that because of the state’s unwillingness to continue programs with Florida tax payer dollars after the federal grants were used up that he feels that Florida was not given the grant money. That again needs more evaluation than your simply calling him a psycho. It sounds to me that the Federal government in a backdoor way is trying to direct the spending of Florida tax dollars via enticing us with grant money and then committing us to mandatory spending for years to come… this is something that I would have to commend the governor on as it is the people and state of Florida who should be able to decide how our local dollars are spent. I know that this governor is very unpopular but I am not so sure that those who are bashing him in the polls are truly evaluating his decisions. There are many in here in this state who do not understand where all the money goes and want to see more accountability in government, from what I have seen from Scott he is trying to accomplish just this… I have had some problems with this governor but I am at least keeping my mind open and evaluating his decisions based on the facts that are available rather than the popular opinion which so far seems less than fair to him.

  3. AntiTallahassee Says:

    Too bad the Repugnant legislature did not apply the same criteria to getting the 1st $700 MILLION from Obama. Instead they are pushing unfunded mandates onto districts to comply with their pie in the sky “reforms,” which are driven by the conditions of the Race to the Top program. They will never take responsibility for wasting that $700 MILLION, but that is exactly what they are doing.

  4. Democrat Disinformation Says:

    Let’s see:
    CA-democrat Guv,
    Delaware-demo Guv,
    Maryland-demo Guv and Joe Biden’s state,
    MA-dem Guv,
    Minnesota-Dem Guv,
    N Carolina- dem Guv,
    Rhode Island-Dem Guv,
    Washington-Dem Guv.

    Seems these democrats want Merit Pay for teachers! Seems democrats want Merit Pay for teachers!

    Wow, reading political news in Florida one would think it is just a republican agenda for Merit Pay for Teachers.

    Amazing how manipulating the news could form that opinion when the President Obama and his Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, BOTH espouse Merit Pay for Teachers and that’s part of their Race To The Top program.

    Especially in S FL the democrat political propaganda, the disinformation (is that the communist way?) the democrats blame JUST the Republicans for wanting Merit Pay, when their own leadership at the Presidenital level, cabinet level and state level ESPOUSE THE SAME THING!

    Democrats LIE, OBFUSCATE, PUT OUT DISINFORMATION. Communism abounds in S FL and across this nation.

    “Disinformation (a translation of the Russian word dezinformatsiya) is intentionally false or inaccurate information that is spread deliberately. For this reason, it is synonymous with and sometimes called black propaganda. It is an act of deception and false statements to CONVINCE” someone of UNTRUTH.”

  5. David Kearns Says:

    The worst grant writer in the history of writing or grants.Scott plays politics with the lives of hundreds of thousands of Florida’s children. He starts his application for the money listing his objections to following the rules for taking it; then lambastes the federal government for not giving it! He wraps his logically devoid excoriation up in a wonderful tea-scorn muffin. Then sends his minions out onto the websites to likewise attack Obama. Nothing he does is honest, forthright and for the good of Florida.

  6. The Truth Says:

    Burdensome federal rules do not allow for teaching to take place; paperwork and more administration is added.

  7. Support Says:

    I will support Governor Scott in the next election.

  8. Floridanative Says:

    Ricky Scott told Floridians on his campaign trail that he would not cut money to education. But what did he do? Slashed it by 15%. Ricky Scott and the rebulican party like to push charter schools whenever they can, even though they don’t have a record that is any better than public schools. In fact, their record is in many cases worse. The feds correctly see him and this republican legislature for what they really are, a bunch of scam artists. And they correctly have chosen not to feed the beast.

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