Race to the Top and How the State Continues to Fund the Expired Grant

Once again Delaware’s Governor has chosen to add to the ever burgeoning Department of education bureaucracy in Dover. In this instance there has been a particular concerning manipulation of the General Assembly’s intentions and authority. When the Governor’s budget was originally presented it included $7.5 million to continue Race to the Top (RTTT) initiatives funded by expiring federal funding. In that $7.5 million was a proposal to create and fund ten positions created under RTTT and place the funding burden on Delaware’s taxpayers. I, and others, had consistently and persistently warned that it would be unacceptable for the taxpayers to assume the costs of continuing the failed policies of the federal education reform movement known as RTTT. When the full $7.5 million was challenged and halved, I and other GA members were assured that the remaining $3.75 million added to the budget would not be used to fund those positions and that essentially those temporary employees would not be continuing once the RTTT federal funding expired. In what has become a commonplace practice under this Administration there has been a deliberate effort to manipulate and circumvent the intentions and will of the General Assembly. This Governor has stated time and again that his efforts to shrink government involved freezing vacant positions and the funding for those positions as part of his austerity plan to balance the budget. It therefore becomes even more striking that the Governor and DOE have continued their expansion of the Department of Ed bureaucracy, which has grown over 10% in recent years, with the addition of these ten positions to the budget despite assurances that these jobs would not be funded except by RTTT monies. I only discovered this secretive maneuver by happenstance when I requested a full and specific accounting of the use of the budget approved $3.75 million from the Controller General’s office. The email chain that follows shows the specifics of that budget addition and is accompanied by the rather shocking revelation that the ten temporary RTTT positions were being added to the DOE bureaucracy funded by Delaware taxpayer money.
 Representative John Kowalko (25th District)
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