Statement From Senate Majority Conference Leader John L. Sampson On Race To The Top Legislation

January 19, 2010

Running a race in the wrong direction gets you nowhere. Race to the Top is about competition and we cannot put our children at a competitive disadvantage by passing imprudent legislation.
Nothing is more important than our shared Constitutional obligation to a sound, basic, and quality education. The bill I sponsored with Assembly Speaker Silver would have maximized our eligibility for federal funds, while bringing greater transparency, accountability, and parental input to the charter school process.
Education reform and advancement has always come in phases, each step building upon the last. It is unfortunate some chose to deny our state the tools it needs to build a foundation for long-term education improvements, but we remain committed to investing in our children and our future.

We are working towards a bipartisan, bicameral solution today. We support the State Education Department’s application as it stands, and hope our federal officials can help us secure Phase One financing. If not, we will reapply for Phase Two, and try once again later this year to bridge the partisan divide to get New York’s school children the funding they need, and property taxpayers the relief they deserve.