California vies for $700 million in Race to the Top Competition

LOS ANGELES – The state of California is seeking to compete for up to $700 million in federal monies targeted for education reform. Earlier this week, the Assembly Education Committee rejected a proposal sponsored by Governor Schwarzenegger and Senator Gloria Romero, D-Los Angeles. This measure would have allowed children in the lowest-performing schools to transfer to any school in the state. Further, the measure provided for parental action that could include changing the school into a charter school and/or firing teachers.

The Assembly Education Committee did approve an alternative bill by Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, D-Santa Monica. The Governor has vowed to veto this bill in its current form.

Employers Group believes that broad reform is necessary to maximize the receipt of federal funds as well as improve the educational opportunities for California’s youth. “The Assembly bill, supported by special interests, weakens reform efforts and places up to $700 million at risk in the `Race to the Top’ funds,” said Employers Group President and CEO, Mark Wilbur. “Parents should have the opportunity to leave a poor/mediocre performing school in order to create better opportunities for their children. A well-educated student body is better prepared and equipped to succeed as they enter the workplace as tomorrow’s employees.”

The Assembly approved the Brownley bill on December 11, 2009. Lawmakers must have a bill passed by January 19, 2010 to qualify for funding under the Obama Administration’s education plan.

About Employers Group
Employers Group, a California-based human resources expert and advocate, serves employers nationwide by delivering human resources solutions to its members. Originally founded in Los Angeles as the Merchant’s and Manufacturers Association in 1896, the organization has moved from serving the interests of just California employers to helping companies across the globe mitigate risk, cut costs, and advocate for employer rights. Employers Group provides a member helpline with day-to-day guidance about employment laws and regulations, professional development, consulting projects, and compensation and workplace trends surveys. It is the “voice” for businesses in both the judicial system the California Legislature and Congress, advocating for employers every step of the way; thus, thousands of employers have come to rely on Employers Group for “everything HR,” freeing them to do what they do best to grow their businesses. For more information, visit

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