FOM Friday: 2015 Fed Ed Budget

**Important note: As of this post, this delves into  the President’s education budget NOT the Congressional one where reports have stated no Race to the Top or little for Common Core. We need to know what this report shares as there is SO much more to consider. As with anything in the fed ed reform, there’s so much being hidden in plain sight. We need to be pro-active in our watch of ALL of the federal levels. Pro CCSS groups are latching on to the President’s budget and rejoicing at the information below. All the more reason for anti CCSS groups to be alert!

It's Friday, you know what that means! Time to measure what's truth, what's fallacy/fib or what's in between.
It’s Friday, you know what that means! Time to measure what’s truth, what’s fallacy/fib or what’s in between.

It’s almost the end of the year, many are turning their attention to the next round of legislative events. Common Core Standards and the agenda therein cannot survive without money. So, today’s Fib-o-Meter Friday post is a special look at just how Washington, D.C. plans to use our tax dollars to fund illegal standards, continue to grease the wheels of the CCSS Machine, and keep education a mess.

First up, The Fed Ed Budget Comments: 

Website to access the entire budget/comments, http://www.ed.gov/budget15

The first quote we’ll look at through the Fib-o-Meter is this one, “America’s public schools strive to offer a path to the middle class for children from hard-working families in every community, particularly those living in poverty. Yet too many students lack access to the education and supports that make the journey to the middle class possible. The Obama administration is committed to ensuring equity of opportunity for every child.”

We’re going to only focus on the bold words to fit through the Fib-o-Meter. How is the government defining ‘middle class’? Logic would suggest you consider what the U.S. Census Bureau’s definition is. After all, if anyone has statistics on Americans, it’s them. However, according to the CB’s website they do NOT have an official definition!! “The Census Bureau does not have an official definition of the “middle class,” but it does derive several measures related to the distribution of income and income inequality.” (see the entire way they do derive income inequality..which does measure lower and upper percentages: 

http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/data/inequality/middleclass.htmlOkay, so since the Census doesn’t have an official definition, which government entity does?! The U.S. Department of Commerce, that’s which one. According to the 2010 “Middle Class in America” publication, ‘One of the hallmarks of American society has been the common desire among families of all backgrounds for economic security and a better life for their children. Unfortunately, many families are not able to afford the sort of expenditures that we lay out in this report. If American families are to realize their middle class dreams, the nation must have a healthy economy, a responsible private sector that offers decent jobs with benefits, and an effective public sector that provides high quality schools for all children.’ I’ve provided the entire report for you as you’ll need to see for which task force the entire report was created for. Middle Class Report It’s the Vice President’s ‘Task Force on Middle Class’..the same Task Force that the Workforce education is geared for…meaning those Career Pathways, Workforce Data Initiative, Common Core aligned courses that encompass Career Tech Ed, and so on. UGH!! Totally malarky! ‘Total Fallacy’, you’ve based one set of misinformation resources on top of out and out illegally formed Standards supported by Federal overreach!

“Too many students lack access to education”. Really? Yep..especially when your source is the U. S. Dept. of Ed (hardly objective on the subject)! In March 2014, “The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released today the first comprehensive look at civil rights data from every public school in the country in nearly 15 years.”  Don’t fret, I’ll include the full press release. You’ll definitely want it, too. Key findings? Not enough preschool, not enough school counselor access, etc. Hmmm, have you noticed the big push lately for MORE fed led ed preK? Do you remember the post I wrote revealing how school counselors were being forced to align to CCSS? Not to be pithy here, but the public education system has enough now and it’s not working. How is MORE going to help? UGH! More fibs! More fallacies! Fib-o-Meter rating for this one: ‘Total Fallacy’ (press release: http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/expansive-survey-americas-public-schools-reveals-troubling-racial-disparities)

“Equity of opportunity for every child”. Okay, can someone please remind the rest of the nation that opportunity is ALWAYS available to each and every person who desires to utilize it. We shouldn’t be ‘forcing the deck’ when it comes to education. Of course, when your agenda is to have a trained workforce you have to force the deck. However, we need to find the Federal resource to see what insight it can help us with. So, we turn to the ‘Equity and Excellence Commission’, a federal advisory committee chartered by Congress. Their 2011 report to Sec. Duncan at the U. S. Dept. of Ed laid out 5 prongs that would ensure equity (which literally means the ‘quality of being fair/impartial’ and/or ‘the value of shares’ in something) Those 5 prongs (you’ve heard them all by now) more early childhood ed, more money for schools, having teachers/principals/curricula all on the same page, offering more non-school services, and more accountability. See the Commission’s website, (http://www.foreachandeverychild.org/The_Report.html) Again, ‘Fallacy’ from the Fib-o-Meter is the rating. You can’t get truth when you keep using the same tainted, subjective information!

Read on to find where the bucks stop and the fallacies continue in our educational system.
Read on to find where the bucks stop and the fallacies continue in our educational system.

The Bucks:

So just HOW many dollars, bucks, smackeroos have been laid out for education in America for 2015’s budget? Let’s find out. “The Administration is requesting $68.6 billion in discretionary appropriations for the Department of Education in 2015, an increase of $1.3 billion, or 1.9 percent, more than the 2014 level and almost $3 billion more than in 2013.” There are to be some mandatory programs this money funds as well as some programs that could be used. Remember those 5 prongs the Equity Commission gave? Guess what?! Here’s the note included in the Budget, “The 2015 Budget request for the Department focuses on six priorities: (1) increasing equity and opportunity for all students, (2) strengthening support for teachers and school leaders; (3) expanding high-quality preschool programs; (4) affordability and quality in post-secondary education; (5) promoting educational innovation and improvement; and (6) improving school
safety and climate.” How that equity is to be achieved? “The Administration’s signature reform measures, including RTT and ESEA Flexibility, advance this goal through supporting State and local efforts in the implementation of college- and career ready (CCR) standards and aligned assessments, rigorous accountability systems intended to help close achievement gaps and turn around our lowest-performing schools, and new teacher and leader evaluations.”

Where our taxes are going to help support the CCSS Machine:
$300 million for a new Race to the Top (student longitudinal data system on a state-wide platform); $14.4 billion for Title One College/Career Readiness; $1.1 billion for those 21st Century Community Learning Centers (think cradle to grave agenda); $100 million for “Promise Neighborhoods” (cradle to career initiative); $70 million for Statewide Longitudinal Student Data System; $200 million for ConnectED (trains teachers to be CCSS and college/career readiness aligned, assessments, digital aspects, and more in the classroom); $5 billion for incentives (RESPECT) teachers who’ve completed College/Career Readiness training, building like-minded network; $1.3 billion in mandatory preK for everyone; $165 million for “Investment in Innovation” (i3) which will use a best-practices approach to education while affording the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Education a whopping $49.5 million to transform technology; $150 million to redesign high schools so they become college/career ready centers; $170 million for STEM revitalizing (of that, $110 million goes to LEAs to create a STEM network; $40 million to create a teacher STEM Pathway, $20 million to create a National STEM Teacher Corps; $1.1 billion to reauthorize the Perkins Act (means even more Career Tech Ed that’s aligned to CCSS). See the entire Summary: http://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/budget/budget15/summary/15summary.pdf

Since we know that Common Core encompasses Career Tech Education, Workforce, and other tentacles, we’ll need to look at more of the 2015 Federal Budget sections. It is my goal to address each of these in separate posts for clarity purposes. I would suggest you use each as you see applicable with your state and the battle against Common Core.

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