Republican Assault on Public Education (1 Viewer)

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    Well-known member
    Mar 13, 2019
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    This probably needs its own thread. It ties in with a lot of different R culture wars: Attacks on universities, attacks on CRT and “woke”. Classifying teachers and librarians as “groomers”. Pushing vouchers to send tax money to private, often religious, schools. Betsy DeVos was an advocate for all these policies that will weaken public education, and there are several billionaires who also want to dismantle public education. Public education may have its faults, but it is responsible for an amazing amount of upward mobility. Kids from poor areas can still get a college prep education in a public school.

    Vouchers (sometimes disguised as “school choice”) are a particular peeve of mine. Public money is diverted from poor schools to wealthy private schools, which aren’t required to offer accommodations for special needs or challenged students. Families with special needs kids are left out. Rural areas often suffer disproportionately because there are no private schools to attend, but their public schools still see the reduction in funding. Often the families who take advantage of the voucher money are upper class and the private schools simply raise tuition knowing the families are getting taxpayer money now.

    Greg Abbot is being particularly vile in this area. No surprise. Voters will have to make a statement about public education. If we want to halt the growing divide in this country between the “haves” and “have-nots”, we need to pay attention to public education.

    How do these crazy people get put into these positions? The lady from SC is just as crazy as this guy. It’s an all out war on education from the GOP at this point.
    It's definitely a war on education, but it's also a war against true religious freedom for all.

    The corpo-christo-faciscist seem awfully confident that they will be in control of everything come Jan 20th, 2025, or they have a really bad case of OCD fueled hubris.

    Either way, I like that they're leaping from the shadows and taking off their masks. I hope they keep doing it all the way to election day and that they keep hold-my-beer'ing each other.

    I think the majority of voters will have a lot more fear of who these guys really are, than they will fear that Biden is too old and frail.
    Donald Trump wants to shut down the US Department of Education, saying at recent rallies that it should be disbanded to “move everything back to the states where it belongs”.

    The idea of dismantling the education department has become increasingly mainstream, though it’s nearly as old as the department itself, which was created by Congress as a cabinet-level agency in 1979. Trump made similar promises on the 2016 campaign trail to either cut or hobble the department.

    Eliminating it would require Congress to act, which could be an impossible feat, though several of Trump and his allies’ policy goals on education could be accomplished through presidential actions.

    Project 2025, the Heritage Foundation’s rightwing manifesto for a potential incoming Trump administration, lays out how dismantling the federal education department would work, leaving behind, if anything, a husk focused solely as a “statistics-gathering agency that disseminates information to the states”, writes Lindsey Burke, the author of the education chapter and leader of Heritage’s education policy center.

    The department’s elimination is one of many goals contained in the extensive conservative playbook that will inform a second Trump term. Project 2025 calls for privatizing education and driving out any programs related to LGBTQ+ youth or diversity.

    “This playbook actually goes into detail that we’ve never seen before,” said Weadé James, senior director for K-12 policy at the Center for American Progress. It would have profound implications on civil rights, school funding and students’ progress – not to mention on the fate of public schools, she said.…….

    During a speech to a “faith and freedom” conference this week, Trump railed against education rankings and spending, saying the US performs poorly despite money spent on students. Some states could do better without federal intervention, he said.

    “We’ll cut our budget in half and not everybody’s going to be great,” he said. “I mean, [California governor] Gavin Newsom will not do a good job with education, so I don’t expect that out of him. And I don’t expect it out of certain other people … But many of the states, I would say 40 of the 50 states will do much better. And I’ll bet you 30 of the states will be phenomenal.”

    Trump tells voters on his campaign site a few ways he would manage education:

    • Cut federal funding for schools that are “pushing critical race theory or gender ideology on our children” and open civil rights investigations into them for race-based discrimination.
    • End access for trans youth to sports.
    • Create a body that will certify teachers who “embrace patriotic values”.
    • Reward districts that get rid of teacher tenure.
    • Adopt a parents’ bill of rights.
    • Implement direct elections of school principals by parents.……

    Project 2025 posits various ways to put states in control of programs the federal government now funds and manages. Instead of directing how funds should be used, it generally says states should be given money with no strings attached to spend on “any lawful education purpose under state law”.

    These “block grants” often receive pushback. And when states receive set amounts rather than funds based on specific needs, they can often fall short.

    The project proposes phasing out one major program, Title I, over a 10-year period. The $18bn funding source supports low-income students. Instead, the project says states “should assume decision-making control over how to provide a quality education to children from low-income families”.

    “Phasing that out is going to be very detrimental to that population of students who are already vulnerable for many reasons,” James said.

    The Heritage Foundation also wants to eliminate Head Start, a program that funds early childhood education for low-income families, because it is “fraught with scandal and abuse”, according to a chapter on the Department of Health and Human Services. The Center for American Progress says in a new report that eliminating Head Start would reduce access and increase costs for childcare, hurting economic stability.……

    EXCLUSIVE Oklahoma’s top education official is overhauling the state’s social studies curriculum to emphasize American exceptionalism to combat what he says is left-wing messaging that teaches children to “hate America.”

    In a document obtained by the Washington Examiner, Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction Ryan Walters announced a “complete overhaul” to the curriculum with the goal to “inspire in students a love of country and a proper understanding of the American founding,” as well as completely eliminate diversity, equity, and inclusion ideology from schools.

    “Teacher’s unions have been rewriting history, teaching students to hate America. But not under my watch,” Walters told the Washington Examiner. “Our goal is to give Oklahoma students an education that focuses on history, not indoctrination. The executive committee that we’ve assembled are experts in American exceptionalism, our Founding Fathers, and historical documents like the Bible. These things are essential to understanding our history.”...............

    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — National Republicans are poised to support “universal school choice” as part of the policy platform they adopt at next week’s convention in Milwaukee, a goal supporters see as the culmination of decades advocating for parents’ autonomy to pick their children’s schools. To opponents, it's a thinly veiled blueprint for gutting public education.

    The term can mean different things to different people — from erasing school boundaries, to open enrollment, to being able to curate your child’s individual curriculum, to parental control over K-12 course content.

    But education experts across the political spectrum interpret the GOP platform’s wording as favoring the type of approach adopted in states like West Virginia and Ohio, which make available taxpayer-funded vouchers, or scholarships, that can follow a child regardless of income to any public or private school.

    “In our way of thinking, this is kind of your money, your children and your choice for where they want to go to school,” said Lisa B. Nelson, CEO of the American Legislative Exchange Council, which launched an Education Freedom Alliance in January to fight for just that. About a dozen states now have such programs, and proposals are in play in another 16, according to the alliance.

    Nelson said this is the first time the GOP platform has gone beyond merely supporting school choice to calling for it as a universal option. It remains unclear how that would come to pass, given the platform also calls for shuttering the U.S. Department of Education, founded in 1979, and sending education policy-making “back to the States, where it belongs.”

    Republican Donald Trump’s presidential campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the platform.

    “Republicans believe families should be empowered to choose the best Education for their children,” the platform says.

    James Singer, a spokesperson for President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign, said eliminating the department — which oversees Head Start, administers college financial aid programs, conducts education research and enforces civil rights laws — “isn’t just bad policy, it would rip vital support away from our most vulnerable children, leaving them less likely to graduate from high school or attend college.”

    Chad Aldis, vice president for Ohio policy at the conservative Thomas B. Fordham Institute, said declaring universal school choice as a policy goal and carrying it out are two very different things..............


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