L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce Statement on Legislative Efforts to Make State Eligible for Race to the Top Funds

December 8, 2009 8:00 am

LOS ANGELES, CA – The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce applauds both the State Senate and Assembly for their focused efforts on ensuring California’s eligibility for the Race to the Top funds.

And while the Senate and Assembly have proposed separate bills, the Chamber supports elements of both SB X5 1 and AB X5 8 and encourages the Legislature to move quickly to create a legislative package that is passed by both houses and signed by the Governor.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and generations of Californians will be impacted by the decisions made during the Race to the Top debate in Sacramento,” said Gary Toebben, President & CEO, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.  “The success of California’s legislature in passing Race to the Top legislation will be judged on whether it includes the kind of bold reforms that the Obama administration believes are necessary to dramatically improve the performance of public schools in California.”

Among key items the Chamber believes should be included in the legislative package are language removing the cap on charter schools while setting higher expectations, aligning state standards with the emerging “National Common Core Standards”, revising assessments systems so they are both fair and effective in evaluating students, linking educational data with wage data to better measure system performance pre-k-16, using strategies to incentivize school leaders and better staff hard-to-serve schools regardless of seniority, invite local school districts to put forth strong plans for meaningful reform and be given maximum flexibility of the education code and use of RTTT funding.

The Chamber sent a letter to the legislature outlining specific recommendations.

More information on the L.A. Area Chamber’s education initiatives is available at www.lachamber.com.


The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of business in L.A. County. Founded in 1888, the Chamber promotes a prosperous economy and quality of life in the Los Angeles region. For more information, visit www.lachamber.com.

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Alejandro Guzmán, 213.580.7544