Jul 30, 2010 1:02 AM by Andy Koen

State board of education members reject federal money

Saying that Colorado's kids are not for sale, Colorado Board of Education member Peggy Littleton Thursday urged her fellow board members to reject new national education standards pushed by the Obama administration in order to win $175 million in government funding through the Race to the Top Contest.

Littleton, a Republican representing Colorado's 5th Congressional District, said in a statement Thursday that adopting the standards would invite greater federal intrusion into Colorado school system.

"It would open the doors to national standards in other areas, like science (currently underway) civics and health, while moving us closer to national assessments and national curriculum."

The board will take public comment prior to deciding whether to adopt the Common Core standards on Monday, the deadline for states to adopt the standards and still qualify for the money.

This is the second time the state has applied for the Race to the Top funding.  In the previous round of the competition, Colorado placed 14th out of 16 states.

Faced with a billon dollar budget deficit, state lawmakers cut $300 million from K-12 education for the upcoming school year.

On the final day of the 2010 legislative session, Colorado lawmakers also passed a measure tying teacher tenure to student performance, a move some saw as an attempt to bolster the state's chances of winning the federal funding.

Both of the previous Race to the Top winners, Tennessee and Delaware, passed teacher tenure reform laws.

Republican Marcia Neal from the 3rd Congressional District has also publicly stated opposition to the federal standards.

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