Sanders: U.S. Education Dept. must cooperate with Vermont

For immediate release
June 6, 2012

Michael Briggs
Sen. Bernie Sanders office
(202) 224-5141

WASHINGTON, June 6 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today told U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan that it is unacceptable to exclude Vermont and many other rural states from a major federal grant program.

“It is unacceptable that nearly $5 billion of federal “Race to the Top” funding has been distributed while Vermont and many other states have not received a penny,” Sanders said after meeting with Duncan in the senator’s office on Capitol Hill.

Overall, more than half of all states have not received “Race to the Top” funds. Many rural states, some with high poverty rates, are among the states that received nothing. Vermont, for example, was turned down last November for a four-year, $50 million grant for early-childhood education.

Noting that Vermont public schools are among the best in the country, Sanders said he would “do my best to change this arbitrary funding system, which unfairly disadvantages some states at the expense of others.”

Sanders also said he was pleased to hear from Duncan that there will be a special “carve out” for rural states in a new, $350 million round of funding for “Race to the Top.”

Also during the meeting, the senator said he was “extremely disappointed” that Vermont could not obtain a waiver from the “No Child Left Behind” law. He said requirements of the Bush-era law are “fundamentally incompatible with the state’s education model.” Sanders said he was delighted that Secretary Duncan promised to personally discuss the waiver issue with Vermont education officials to explore how a resolution could be reached.

In Vermont, Sanders added, “there is widespread – near unanimous – opposition” to the law’s inflexible mandates.


Press Release



Comment Policy requires that all commenters identify themselves by their authentic first and last names. Initials, pseudonyms or screen names are not permissible.

No personal harrassment, abuse, or hate speech is permitted. Be succinct and to the point. If your comment is over 500 words, consider sending a commentary instead.

We personally review and moderate every comment that is posted here. This takes a lot of time; please consider donating to keep the conversation productive and informative.

The purpose of this policy is to encourage a civil discourse among readers who are willing to stand behind their identities and their comments. VTDigger has created a safe zone for readers who wish to engage in a thoughtful discussion on a range of subjects. We hope you join the conversation.

Privacy policy
Thanks for reporting an error with the story, "Sanders: U.S. Education Dept. must cooperate with Vermont"