Those are all faults, but there are many positives in the reforms and above all, the Race to the Top funding provides desperately needed funding for those parts of education that needs the most improvement and reform. The editorial warns us:
Last week's forecast that more billion-dollar budget deficits are on the horizon in Minnesota doesn't bode well for any institution that relies on state aid. And though state lawmakers protected the $12 billion-plus K-12 education budget from deep cuts this year, that probably won't happen in 2010.
As teachers organizations across the state campaign for large compensation increases, most citizens cannot understand why they would refuse to cooperate with funding opportunities like Race to the Top. Yes, the funding comes with problems and flaws, but nothing is perfect. We have become mired in Minnesota in a philosophy of "my way or the highway," instead of putting the future of our children first. Leading democratic legislators and statewide candidates have been strangely silent, almost AWOL, on these issues. Leading republicans see this as an opportunity to pander to the worst instincts of Minnesotans. The Governor seems poised to use the failure of public educators to seize this opportunity as an excuse to inflict further unilateral cuts to education.
In this time of financial crisis, we are witnessing bankrupt behavior. Problem solving by pandering, picketing, and punting. Its time for the adults in politics and education to put aside destructive behavior, reach out and make the best of the opportunities we have. As the editorial rightly states:
In some states, resistance to reforms from special interest groups has hampered the application process. Minnesotans should expect better from their educators, legislators and teachers. We urge stakeholders in education to set aside partisanship and turf battles and work together on a grant proposal that is best for kids.