U.S. governors pick Ritter to head education panel | AspenTimes.com

U.S. governors pick Ritter to head education panel

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter of Colorado listens to Nan Poppe, campus president of Portland Community College discuss the issues of developing a high tech workforce during a meeting of the Education, Early Childhood and Workforce Committee at the National Governors Association Saturday, July 18, 2009, in Biloxi, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

DENVER – The National Governors Association on Monday chose Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter as the head of its education committee.

Ritter has made education a priority as governor, promising to cut the high school dropout rate in half, double the number of post-secondary degrees earned by Coloradans and close achievement gaps in schools over the next 10 years.

Ritter said he will work with the association on policies for dealing with the federal government. He said the job also involves making sure students are ready for the work force.

Ritter said Colorado’s budget crisis forced him to ask the federal government to waive restrictions on federal stimulus funding that limit cuts to higher education, a requirement put in place to keep states from using federal funds to replace money taken from higher education to fund other state programs.

Waivers would allow the state to make further cuts in higher education.

“We’re attempting to get waivers to have flexibility, not that we’re going to use it,” Ritter said.

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