The Republican Governors Association made it official yesterday, naming Texas Gov. Rick Perry as its new chairman.
Perry, as I discussed earlier this week, has been a big critic of federal stimulus spending, and Race to the Top in particular.
The Texas governor, who recently won re-election, has complained of too many strings being attached to that emergency federal education aid. In fact, his beef with the feds extends not only to the stimulus but to the Education Jobs Fund, a measure approved a few months ago by Congress that is providing $10 billion in assistance to save school workers’ jobs.
A provision was inserted in the law by Texas Democratic lawmakers meant to ensure that the state didn’t simply take its $830 million share to back-fill school budget cuts—as those lawmakers said state officials had done in the past. Perry branded the provision “anti-Texas,” but Obama administration officials say the federal law, as written, doesn’t allow them to give Texas its portion of the money. Perry and the state’s Republican attorney general have sued to try to get it.
The Texas governor replaces outgoing RGA chair Haley Barbour, of Mississippi. Will Perry’s views on federal education spending shape the opinions of fellow GOP governors?
A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.