Browsing articles in "Federal Education"
Jan 17, 2010
ELW

Can Florida’s Legislature Be Serious About State Sovereignty While Accepting “Race to the Top” Federal Education Funds? by: Andrew Nappi

The federal Department of Education like so many federal agencies, has no basis to exist. One cannot find justification for its existence in the constitution. One wonders then, why so many states with healthy and robust tenth amendment and sovereignty movements are rushing to get their share of “stimulus” education money offered  by the Obama administration and known as “Race to the Top.”

My home country of Florida is among these states exhibiting behavior that appears to be contradictory.  One would suppose state sovereignty would include “in state” control of curriculums. State sovereignty one would think, if supported by the legislature, would include a requirement that  schools within the state  teach this aspect of liberty as soon as the appropriate level of understanding is reached.

If what we know of Race to the Top curriculums is implemented, the states for all their bluster about their right to be free of intrusive and unlawful federal law, will have in fact handed over to supporters of an all encompassing federal and global government their most precious resource, their children. According to the St. Petersburg Times, “…Strong opposition from teachers unions could be enough to kill Florida’s chances of securing up to $700 million in federal school reform money, the state’s top education official said Wednesday…..Race to the Top is highly competitive. But Florida is widely considered a leading contender because its education policies are closely in synch with the Obama administration’s. The state’s plans for the money, crafted over months by the Florida Department of Education, are dramatic. They would accelerate changes on a suite of sensitive issues, including how teachers are trained, evaluated and paid….” Continue reading »

Nov 9, 2009
ELW

Home Visiting in Health Care Bills Promotes Government Intrusion into Homes

Among the MANY important reasons to oppose the health care “reform” bills now working their way through Congress from EdWatch’s point of view are the efforts to expand home visiting programs and the mental screening of new mothers. Language of these programs is in the House and Senate bills respectively.  The latest House bill, HR 3962, that sadly passed the full House, plans to spend $750,000,000 through 2014 and the Senate Finance Committee version, S 1796 spend $1,500,000,000 over the same period to implement the very bad idea of home visiting. For new mothers, the House bill spends “such sums as may be necessary” and the Senate spends $3,000,000 initially, and then “such sums as may be necessary” through 2012 to fund grants that will include the promotion of mental screening of pregnant women and new mothers.

These odious home visiting programs send government workers into the homes of mostly poor families, although the Federal home visiting bill also wants to do the same with military families. These workers then make sure children are being raised according to government standards, collect massive amounts of data about every aspect of the family and their lives, and make sure that families are “helped” into dependence on government services like childcare/preschool and mental health services.  EdWatch has described the many problems with the federal stand-alone bills.    Continue reading »

Feb 25, 2009
ELW

2010-2011 Budget Reduction Recommendations

Education

1. Kindergarten Readiness Assessment and Intervention Program – (Ed. pp, 254 & 261-262)

Current – $ 573,000 Governor – $574,000 EdWatch – $0

This assessment should be completely eliminated, not increased or even held harmless. It uses very vague and subjective criteria based on very vague, subjective, and politically correct outcomes, The Early Childhood Indicators of Progress. This ridiculous assessment gives fuel to the Nanny State falsely claiming that 50% of Minnesota children are not ready for kindergarten.

2. Preschool Screening – (Ed. pp. 254 & 263-266)

Current – $6,576,000 Governor $7.427, 000 EdWatch – $0

This could be off-loaded to health care providers as part of school physicals and Medicaid already does this screening as part of federal EPSDT for poor children. This is the source for the very subjective statewide mental health screening that Minnesota does apparently to comply with federal special education mandates that each state identify enough children with socioemotional problems to obtain federal funding. Continue reading »