State Bill Could Force South Carolina to Accept Education Grants from the Federal Government
New legislation would prohibit South Carolina’s top education official from refusing to accept federal education grants. Superintendent Mick Zais has rejected $144 million from the Ed Jobs grant program and $200 million from Race to the Top.
Rep. Mia Butler Garrick, a Richland County Democrat, recently introduced legislation that would prohibit the state’s top education official from turning down any federal education grant that does not require matching funds.
“I just don’t understand why our superintendent of education would not want to accept all new available federal dollars for education,” she said.
Zais hasn’t shut the door on all federal grants, but he recently refused to apply for two federal programs that could have injected millions into the state’s education resources.
One of the programs, the Ed Jobs grant, would have given South Carolina access to $144 million. Another, the Race to the Top program, would have allowed the state to compete for a portion of $200 million in federal funds.
Zais contends such programs equate to federal mandates because of all of the requirements imposed on the state.
But Garrick dismisses the “too many strings attached” rhetoric as a partisan argument often heard in national political circles.
She says South Carolina is not in a position to refuse such grants, and failure to use them amounts to “sabotage” of the education system.
via Free Times
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