Before we won Race to the Top this morning, I would have described Nathan Deal’s attitude toward the federal grant program as skeptical. In fact, it wasn’t too long ago — Aug. 3 — that Deal announced he would turn down the fat wad of federal cash.
But now that we have won, Deal is darn near delirious with joy. Here is his official statement on the award, which was announced earlier today:
After today’s announcement that Georgia has won a Race to the Top grant, Republican nominee for governor Nathan Deal reiterated that he would continue Gov. Sonny Perdue’s implementation of the program as governor in close consultation with our state’s educators – and conduct periodic reviews to assure that the program is meeting its goals on behalf of Georgia’s children.
“As governor, I will convene teachers, parents, elected officials and education leaders from the 26 school districts involved to assure that Race to the Top funds are implemented effectively, so that we capitalize on our successes and implement them elsewhere in Georgia,” Deal said. “Today’s award is a victory for Georgia; I applaud the leadership of Gov. Sonny Perdue and all of the leaders who worked so diligently on this project.
“This $400 million will come to our state over a four-year period. The next governor will oversee the program for the majority of its duration. Race to the Top will allow Georgians to craft an educational plan that best fits our state. It let’s our educators innovate and create incentives for excellence – incentives for schools, teachers and students to restore the magic to education. Our state has a fundamental duty to prepare our children to be college, work and life ready in a global economy. We achieve that goal only by constantly striving to surpass the status quo. That’s exactly what Race to the Top seeks to achieve. I will work with all stakeholders in education to conduct reviews of this program so that it achieves its original goals and remains an autonomous function of the state of Georgia without federal strings attached.
“The public servants who brought this award to Georgia deserve to take a bow – and then get back to work on a brighter future for Georgia’s children.”