“My opponents are misleading New Hampshire voters and attacking me daily - telling them that as governor I will refuse federal education funding. Let me be very clear - nothing could be further from the truth,” said Lamontagne.
As chairman of the State Board of Education, Lamontagne turned down federal Goals 2000 funds because accepting the grants would have turned over significant control of New Hampshire classrooms to the federal government. However, local school districts were given the authority to contract directly with the federal government to accept federal grants if they felt it was right for their communities, and some did.
The same year the School Board turned down Goals 2000 funds, however, Lamontagne led the Board in accepting federal monies for School to Work, a program that helped high school graduates enter the workforce.
“Making decisions about how we implement these complex programs is about a lot more than a simple yes or no,” said Lamontagne, “it is about evaluating each based on there merits and trying to decide the best course forward for our students and our schools. It is about thinking though all of the possibilities and the consequences, and that is what I will do as governor.”
Lamontagne also stressed the importance of working with the federal government to fully fund its share of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which the federal government has failed to do since the program's inception. Full funding would bring millions into the state to help fund programs for students with disabilities.
Lamontagne also reiterated his support for public kindergarten saying, “I am a former school teacher and I fully support public kindergarten and the benefits it offers our children. While I believe the decision on whether or not a local community should have it should be a local one, I have no intention to change the law as written.”