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Schwarzenegger threatens to veto school reform legislation

December 10, 2009 |  2:42 pm
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger today threatened to veto an Assembly version of legislation to reform California’s schools, saying it falls short of the steps needed to overhaul education and make the state more competitive for $700 million in federal funds.

Schwarzenegger supports a state Senate bill that goes further in giving parents the ability to move their kids from poorly performing schools and force changes at such schools. The reforms are seen by Schwarzenegger as important to compete for federal Race to the Top grants. He also said the Assembly measure inhibits the formation and renewal of charter schools.

"I think it’s unacceptable for the Assembly to water down the education reforms, and I want to make it clear I will not sign the bill the way it is," Schwarzenegger said at a Capitol news conference. "This is a race to the top, not a race to mediocrity, or a race to the status quo."

The full Assembly is scheduled to take up the legislation, ABX5 8, as early as this afternoon.

-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento