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The relationship between the United States federal government and the state governments
The relationship between the United States federal government and the state governments has always attracted a lot of attention. This is defined as federalism, a relationship that means a shift or change of power or authority from the state governments to the national government. Federalism, as a theory, underlines the federal principles that divide powers between the common institutions and member units. Unlike in the case of unitary states, there is non-centralization of sovereignty of federal political order between the varied levels, in which case the units in all levels have the final authority on the varied areas. While there are a number of events that may be tantamount to federalism, the “Race to the Top” program is arguably the most explicit example of federalism in the United States. This refers to a $4.35 billion grant program that was established as a stimulus package. In this program, the states were supposed to submit a proposal on how to improve their educational systems to the federal government. If the proposals were approved, the federal government would provide the funds with which they would implement their plans (Metzger, 19).
There are various aspects that make the program a representation of federalism. First, it is worth noting that the program had a clear outline as to the powers of the states and those of the federal governments. The states have a significant discretion over how the funds would be spent. In fact, the state can spend 50% of the funds won as it deems fit, guided by rules so loose that the state would still comply by using the money on almost any program. In these programs, the states would set the policies governing the learning standards even in cases where uniformity was crucial. The states received a maximum of forty points for joining a conglomerate of states that establish and adopt uniform K-12 standards (Metzger, 19). It is worth noting that the.............
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