The Chariho Regional School District is refusing a potential offer of $1 million to $5 million in federal grant money because school committee members were worried that it would give the federal government more control over what they do. Here is more from The Chariho Times:
Most of the School Committee saw participating or being involved as taking part in a “great unfunded mandate,” as member Deborah A. Carney, of Charlestown, said. She later likened the grant money as a “financial carrot” being dangled in front of districts to make them participate.
Member Andrew Polouski, of Charlestown, echoed Carney. “It’s all one big mandate. If you don’t play the game, you don’t get the money,” he said.
If the school committee is indeed taking a principled stand against federal intervention in education, then they ought to be commended. However, we also noticed that The Chariho Times story mentioned that the union had refused to sign the memorandum of agreement necessary to participate in the grant program. Usually the unions aren’t on the right side of education reform, so we have to wonder if there might have been something worthwhile about this program after all.