Monday, February 16, 2015


both articles from Fritzwire email newsletter

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WHITE HOUSE REPORT: Investing in our Future: Helping Teachers and Schools Prepare Our Children for College and Careers

Kline Statement on White House Education Report: "The White House is using scare tactics and budget gimmicks to kill K-12 education reform"

16 Feb 2015  ::   On Wednesday, Republicans on the House Education and Workforce Committee approved H.R. 5, the Student Success Act. The legislation would lock-in sequestration funding levels, eliminate accountability for taxpayer dollars, and allow states to shift Title I funds from high-poverty schools to more affluent districts. Today, the White House is releasing a report that provides a state-by-state impact of locking in ESEA funding levels at sequestration and a list of the school districts most negatively impacted by changes to the Title I allocation formula.
After an economic crisis that hit school budgets and educators hard, we cannot just cut our way to better schools and more opportunity.  H.R. 5 would deny students and teachers the resources they need by:
·         Cementing recent education cuts, ensuring that federal education funding will be lower in 2021 than it was in 2012, before the recent education cuts and despite inflation and growing enrollment. The House Republican proposal caps spending on the ESEA for the next six years at $800 million lower than it was in 2012. In Title I alone, the bill will provide over $7 billion less to our schools than the President's budget over six years, and the impact on each state is presented in Appendix 1.
·         Eliminating guarantees that education funding reaches the classroom, while opening the door for education investments to be wasted on things like sports stadiums and other unrelated pet projects. The House Republican proposal would allow states and localities to reduce the overall amount they spend on education and the funding they direct to classrooms and teachers without losing a dime of federal resources. 
·         Cutting investments to those schools that need help most by allowing states to cut federal resources for schools that need it most, while giving it to wealthier schools instead. The 100 school districts facing the largest cuts in dollar terms face an average 15 percent cut, and some especially high-poverty school districts would see cuts as large as 74 percent.                                           
·         Eliminating accountability for taxpayer dollars rather than working to use them in ways that improve student learning and ensuring that all students succeed and we do what works to improve even the lowest performing schools.
President Obama has a different vision to improve schools and help teachers by giving them the resources they need, identifying what is working, and fixing what doesn't work so that we can guarantee every child has a world-class education. He would reduce student testing to the bare minimum to let teachers get back to teaching, while ensuring that parents and teachers know how students and schools are doing each year so we can ensure that every child is learning and problems in low-performing schools are addressed. And his Budget would strengthen our schools by investing an additional $2.7 billion in ESEA programs next year alone and expand high-quality preschool, so teachers, principals and educators have the support and resources they need to help students succeed in the classroom

16 Feb 2105  ::  House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) issued the following statement in response to the White House education report released on Friday:

"The White House report pretends the president's budget proposal is the law of the land. It isn't and never will be. In fact, in past years, the president's budget requests have been soundly rejected by both Republicans and Democrats. The White House has entered the realm of make-believe in order to falsely suggest states will lose money, when in reality the Student Success Act maintains current K-12 education spending and even increases funding for low-income students.

"The Student Success Act also offers states and families new opportunities to rescue children from failing schools. Encouraging good schools to serve more low-income students is the right thing to do. Ensuring low-income children receive the best possible education and their fair share of federal assistance is the right thing to do. It is disappointing the White House and powerful special interests are rallying against these commonsense reforms.

"Over the last six years, the Obama administration has dictated national education policy from the U.S. Department of Education. The White House is using scare tactics and budget gimmicks to kill K-12 education reform, because they know a new law will lead to less control in the hands of Washington bureaucrats and more control in the hands of parents and education leaders. This biased report is just further proof the president is out of touch with the priorities of our country."         

Fact: The Student Success Act authorizes funding for fiscal years 2016 through 2021 at $23.2 billion per year, the appropriated amount for the current fiscal year. Overall there is no cut to education spending in H.R. 5. Only the Obama White House calls current funding a cut.

Fact: The Student Success Act increases funding for the Title I programs serving low-income students. The program currently receives $14.4 billion. Under H.R. 5, Title I would receive $14.9 billion, an increase of nearly $500 million (more than the program received in FY 2012).

Fact: The Student Success Act allows states the option to restructure how Title I funds are distributed to help all low-income children receive their fair share of federal assistance. This is a state option and no state is required to adopt it.

Fact: The president's budget doubles down on the same flawed approach that more spending is the answer to a broken education system.

smf 2cents THE ROCK is Arne Duncan’s Dept of Education (masquerading as The White House)  and all the enlightenment that flows therefrom

THE HARD PLACE is House Republicans, awakening from six years of doing nothing and opposing everything – and now seeing their shadow.

BETWEEN THEM is American Public Education, Schoolchildren, Teachers and Parents. Would you like some tea with your finger sandwiches?

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