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For More Information Contact the Public Information Office: 609-292-1126
     Kathryn Forsyth, Director
     Richard J. Vespucci
     Beth Auerswald

For Immediate Release: March 4, 2010

Statement of Acting Commissioner of Education Bret Schundler
U.S. Department of Education Race to the Top Announcement
March 4, 2010

“President Obama’s education initiative, Race to the Top, embodies many ideas that Governor Christie and I agree with and will advocate for in the next four years.  While we are extremely disappointed that New Jersey was not included as a finalist in this first round of funding, we are not surprised.

“From the start of this process it has been clear that while the Corzine administration submitted a good application, a major deficiency in New Jersey’s submission was the lack of support from local union leadership.  With union leaders in more than 350 participating districts refusing to sign on, it would have been very difficult to convince the U.S. Department of Education that New Jersey was united behind this effort.

“In these extremely difficult fiscal times, the entire education community in our state must come together to fight for New Jersey and put the best interest of our children first.  As we begin to work on the second round due in June, I am encouraged that the NJEA leadership has agreed to work on this with us.  With their support of what the President is seeking from New Jersey, I’m convinced we will be able to put forward a winning application.”