The Hawaii Congressional Delegation released the following statement in support of Hawaii's $75 million Race to the Top Grant after the U.S. Department of Education acknowledged that Hawaii has made significant progress in recent months.
"Hawaii has made significant progress with its Race to the Top grant since being placed on high-risk status last December. I am proud of their efforts. We must now demonstrate that the progress made and the reform path forward are sustainable and permanent. I am glad that the U.S. Department of Education has acknowledged the progress over these last months. While not yet removing the high risk status, the removal of the reimbursement hurdle will allow Hawaii to meet its challenges at a much quicker pace. I look forward to speaking personally with Secretary Duncan next week to reaffirm our Congressional Delegation's commitment, as well as that of our education leadership, to completing our race to the top for the benefit of Hawaii's children," said Senator Daniel K. Inouye.
"I am pleased to see Hawaii has made improvements in recent months to accomplish the goals of their Race to the Top project. I support the U.S. Department of Education's decision to remove Hawaii from reimbursement status for the competitive grant program. This is a very encouraging sign that the program is turning around. I urge Hawaii's educators to continue their diligent efforts to get the initiative back on track," said Senator Daniel K. Akaka.
"Today's announcement reflects Hawaii's notable progress over the last several months toward fulfilling its Race to the Top plan," said Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono, a member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee. "While we still have much more work to do, lifting one of the federal sanctions on Hawaii's grant shows that Hawaii's teachers and schools are working hard and heading in the right direction. Improving our schools is challenging, but we can get there by working together toward clearly articulated reform goals."
"I congratulate the Hawaii Department of Education on their progress in meeting the requirements of Hawaii's Race to the Top grant. Education must be a primary concern for our community. The federal Race to the Top grant represented an acknowledgement of Hawaii's commitment to education and our willingness to pursue excellence. The actions of the U.S. Department of Education in recognition of HIDOE's recent efforts demonstrate that we are on the right track, and I encourage all involved to continue these efforts and place Hawaii's grant back on solid footing," said Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa.