Thursday, July 1, 2010

'The secretary of education is somewhat unhappy' -- Rep. Obey

Rep. David Obey stood up to threats of an Obama veto Thursday and pushed through a piece of legislation that will help prevent thousands of teacher layoffs. The House bill includes Obey's amendment which will force some $800 million in cuts to Arne Duncan's pet reform program, Race To The Top. The money will be used to prevent teacher firings and exploding class sizes.
"The secretary of education is somewhat unhappy," Obey acknowledged. "One of the secretary's objections, evidently, is the fact that last year in the stimulus we provided him with a $4.3 billion pot of money to use virtually any way he wanted to stimulate educational progress--$4.3 billion. He has spent a small amount of that." Even if this legislation cuts $500 million, "that still leaves him with $3.2 billion that he can spend any way his department wants. ... The secretary is somehow offended because he only has $3.2 billion to pass around," Obey said. "To suggest that we're being unduly harsh is a joke." (Edweek)

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