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Governor Gibbons clarifies his position on special session

By ThisIsReno

SUBMITTED NEWS RELEASE

Official Governor Jim Gibbons imageCARSON CITY — In order to set the record straight, Governor Gibbons is pleased to provide a direct quote from Deputy Chief of Staff Stacy Woodbury’s testimony before the Legislative Committee on Education today. This testimony was provided in writing to the Secretary of the Committee this morning and distributed to the media this afternoon: “Again, as I was listening to testimony in this Committee last Friday, I received another e-mail from the U.S. Department of Education which stated that 34 states had submitted letters of intent to apply for Phase I Race to the Top funding, and that the deadline to submit such letters of intent had passed.”

Though it is true a letter of intent is not required to apply for Phase I Race to the Top, it is also true the Governor does not intend to submit either a Phase I letter of intent or a Phase I Race to the Top application. To be perfectly clear, an application during Phase I would be proverbially putting the cart before the horse. Governor Gibbons has, is and will work with the Nevada State Board of Education, the Nevada State Department of Education and local school districts to ensure that Nevada has a thorough, accurate, and competitive application for Race to the Top by the June 1, 2010 deadline for Phase II funding.

“Senator Horsford’s enthusiasm for this topic is appreciated,” stated Governor Gibbons, “However, I have repeatedly made my position on this issue clear, including through Ms. Woodbury’s testimony this morning. Despite this, the Legislative Committee on Education voted to adopt language which waters down provisions which will require teachers to be accountable for the progress and performance of their students. I will be submitting a bill draft request which will simply repeal the existing statutory barrier to applying for Race to the Top, so that Nevada parents can be assured their children’s teachers are being evaluated based on their performance in the classroom – just like students. Further, to be absolutely clear, no special session of the Nevada Legislature will be called prior to January 19, 2010, the date on which I have asked the Nevada Economic Forum to provide me with a revised major revenue forecast.”