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Dissenting Cherry Hill School Board Member Defends Vote on Obama’s “Race to the Top” Initiative

February 15, 2010

Dr. Ken Hartman

“When did we become a nation that looks to Washington to solve our local problems?” asks Cherry Hill School Board Member Dr.  Ken Hartman in a Forbes.com commentary on why he rejected President  Barrack Obama’s $4.3 billion education plan of which he argues “we blindly take the money today, enslaving future generations, to avoid making the tough choices and necessary sacrifices needed to support our schools during these difficult economic times.”

Dr. Hartman, who contemplated his vote in light of public questioning, notes: 

“…the RTTT dollars (like the TARP bank bailout dollars) will come increased regulations, more unfunded federal mandates and further loss of local control of our schools. As educators, we should be teaching our students the history and unintended consequences of unsustainable debt, both for nations (e.g., Weimar Republic, USSR) and for families.”

His stance is not much different than the one Governor Christie recently took in his budget address to a joint session of the Legislature.  In addition to the issue of losing local control of how we manage our education systems, Hartman accurately states that elected officials need to stand up and make tough choices rather than continue to throw taxpayer money at failing systems for the sake of doing so.  Local districts need to systematically change the way they operate, and not tap into Trenton or Washington for bailouts that will ultimately only prolong the real problems.

You can read the full text of Dr. Hartman’s commentary here:  “The Dissenting Vote

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Tom permalink
    February 15, 2010 3:38 pm

    I commend Dr Hartman for his honesty and integrity, but more particularly his intelligence in thinking beyond the immediate “money grab” that is most BOE’s knee-jerk response to “Ed aid from Washington”. Dr Hartman is wise enough to understand spending money today in Washington that we don’t have just shackles our children to a lifetime of debt. Hey other members ever hear , “There’s no free lunch!” Also, Dr Hartman knows that anything “from the Fed Gov” requires as payback…a loss of local freedom to operate. What I do not understand is how the other BOE members can sell the children and themselves to the Federal Gov so easily and so repeatedly without considering the effect. It appears they are committed to policies that do not work. Although they do not realize it yet, citizens are paying attention now, and these members will not be in their positions much longer because their agenda does not match what the citozens want!

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