Idaho Schools Chief Tom Luna is in Washington, D.C. today, meeting with federal officials about a $4.35 billion competitive grant program just announced. President Barack Obama announced the formation of Race to the Top grants for American schools. The program is funded by stimulus dollars and incentivizes charter schools, tying student performance to teacher pay and better coordinating education standards between the states.
"Rather than divvying it up and handing it out, we are letting states and districts compete for it. That's how we can incentivize excellence and spur reform and launch a race for the top in America's public schools," Obama said, according to a Reuters report.
To that, Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna says, duh (not a direct quote).
"After today, it's clear the goals we have been working toward in Idaho are now part of a national effort," Luna said in a press release. "Since I took office in 2007, we have worked to expand choices within public education, improve pay for teachers through pay-for-performance, and raise the bar for all Idaho students. I am encouraged by the President and Secretary's remarks. It is good to have bipartisan support at the national level for the efforts we have already begun and will continue to work on here in Idaho."