The rejection of federal education funds may have unforeseen consequences

Gov. Rick Perry’s decision to not submit an application for federal education funding because of the strings attached to the funds may have been made with sincere consideration for the state curriculum, but Texas students may suffer without the funding, which is intended to improve teachers, overhaul schools and adopt common academic standards.

According to a press release from the governor’s office, the U.S. Department of Education would have penalized Texas’ application because Texas would not adopt national curriculum standards. The governor said in a statement that it “would be foolish and irresponsible to place our children’s future in the hands of unelected bureaucrats and special interest groups thousands of miles away in Washington, virtually eliminating parents’ participation in their children’s education.”

The funding would have allotted Texas up to $700 million, but it would cost taxpayers $3 billion to change the state curriculum standards to meet those set by the U.S. Department of Education, according to the press release.

Regardless of whether Perry’s reservations about the grant are legitimate, the state should still explore alternative ways to provide funding that was potentially lost by not applying for the grant. Education is of the utmost importance, and while Perry’s caution may be warranted, the funding must be found somewhere else so the current curriculum will continue to meet the needs of students.

Associate editor Anna Waugh for the editorial board.