- With President Barack Obama's presidency winding down and the potential for Republicans to take over the Senate in November, the future of K-12 initiatives like Race to the Top, Investing in Innovation, and Promise Neighborhoods is uncertain.
- Cornerstone Government Affairs vice president Erik Fatemi tells Education Week that the competitive grant programs "are probably toast" should Senate control change hands, though he says Promise Neighborhoods might be an exception.
- Further muddying the waters: None of these programs have been incorporated into a renewal of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which would ensure their future.
President Obama's education policies have been a source of contention in the nation's increasingly divisive political atmosphere. Race for the Top, for example, has rubbed some Republican lawmakers the wrong way because states' eligibility was dependent upon their adoption of the Common Core State Standards — a detail that goes a long way in explaining the aversion some people have to the standards as an alleged national curriculum. Aside from seeing, as Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tenn. told Education Week, competitive grants turned into federal mandates, other lawmakers would prefer that the additional money dedicated to these programs go to formula programs like Title I and special education grants.