Many of you may have heard of the bills H.R.610 & H.R. 899 that were introduced to the house on January 23, 2017 by Republican Representative of Iowa Steve King and February 7, 2017 by Republican Representative of Kentucky Massie Thomas. These bills deal with the department of education termination, education funding/school voucher program and school lunch nutrition. The summary statements are:
H.R. 610 Introduced in House (01/23/2017)
Choices in Education Act of 2017
To distribute Federal funds for elementary and secondary education in the form of vouchers for eligible students and to repeal a certain rule relating to nutrition standards in schools.
(Steve King tried to introduce similar legislation at the end of last year (Sept. 22, 2016, H.R. 6119 (114th)), dealing with the repeal of Michelle Obama’s nutrition regulations and nothing came of it.
H.R. 899 IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, February 7, 2017
Mr. Massie (for himself, Mr. Amash, Mr. Biggs, Mr. Chaffetz, Mr. Gaetz, Mr. Jody B. Hice of Georgia, Mr. Jones, and Mr. Labrador) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Education and the Workforce
To terminate the Department of Education. (Federal)
The Department of Education shall terminate on December 31, 2018.
As of 03/17/2017 no related bill information has been received for H.R.899 – To terminate the Department of Education..
There is mass “Trump Hysteria” surrounding these bills as well as intense hatred for The Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, even though neither introduced either of these bills. President Trump’s first full day in office was the day H.R. 610 was introduced to the house and Mrs. DeVos was confirmed the day H.R. 899 was introduced, (February 7, 2017). So neither of them wrote either bill. However, they both support school of choice, and less government.
Many conservatives believe that because the Department of Education costs tens of billions of dollars each year that it is completely unnecessary, and we really don’t need one on the Federal level, when we have 50 separate State Departments of Education. Personally, I don’t think we should get rid of the entire department, but it could use a complete overhaul. I’m sure many of our government agencies need reorganization. I do believe we need the protections that are implemented on a federal level so that states have a standard to live up to.
The general consensus with HR 610 bill is it’s dead at committee. There hasn’t been an action since 01/23/2017 when referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. It only has two co-sponsors, (Rep. Harris, Andy [R-MD-1]*, Rep. Franks, Trent [R-AZ-8]*,) and one other that withdrew support earlier this month, (Rep. Olson, Pete [R-TX-22], date withdrawn 03/09/2017, explanation H2004). I’m told that if a bill has no support/sponsors it has no chance of passing. I’ve read this one has 0.001%-2% chance of making it to law.
As of 03/16/2017 no related bill information has been received for H.R.610.
As far as H.R. 899 goes, it’s said it’s very unlikely this bill would pass in either the House or the Senate, but if it did, the H.R. 610 would be considered moot, since this bill eliminates the Federal Department of Education.
As of 03/17/2017 no related bill information has been received for H.R.899 – To terminate the Department of Education.
Rep. Massie states that “states and local communities are best positioned to shape curricula that meet the needs of their students”. In addition Rep. Massie stated that, “It’s time we get the feds out of the classroom and terminate the Department of Education.” It is unlikely that this bill would pass in the House or Senate.
These bills might be dead in committee, but it is a perfect example to why people need to not let the media or anyone else divert your attention from the real issues. Everyone is so focused on Russia, tax returns that mean nothing and whether the president of our country has the authority to enforce our laws that have been in place for decades. People are letting real things slip through the cracks unnoticed. The bad things and the good things too. It’s important to recognize the good things as well as know what’s bad and why they are bad or good. There is so much fear mongering from media and those who just want people to agree with them. Fear is a very effective motivator.
There are no heroes or villains in politics. Politicians don’t care about the people, they care about who is in their pocket. Both sides of the isle contradict themselves depending on how it affects their political stance today. They can all be hypothetical at some point in time.
Many don’t like President Trump, because they believe he’s no different than the other politicians of DC, but I do see that he does want us as a country to succeed. (That will only make him look good.) I also want to believe that he wants us as individuals to succeed. He may not always be doing things the way you would, but giving him a chance has proven so far that he’s done some good, more good depending on what side of the aisle you lean to.
The stalling of a bill means either
(a) it’s a bad bill
(b) Congress is ineffective, or
(c) both (a) and (b).
The bill would have done other things as well, vis-à-vis school choice, but anyway, it appears to be at a dead end.
And while I still want you to be hair-on-fire mad about this bill, it’s likely dead in the water because whoops right-wing homeschool advocates hate it too.
Turns out The Home School Legal Defense Association, which claims 84,000 members and like a lot of right-wing organizations outweighs its membership numbers on the Republican Hill, has come out strongly against King’s bill because it “would be a slippery slope toward more federal involvement and control in homeschooling.”
How House Bill 610 Could Affect Kids With Disabilities, Because There’s Been Some Confusion via Romper.com March 10, 2017
H.R. 899, which calls for the termination of the Department of Education entirely. Constituents rightly reacted with horror to such a bill, and it’s unlikely to pass. H.R. 610 is called the Choices in Education Act, and is largely billed as an advancement of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ ill-conceived school voucher program, but it would effectively abolish the Department of Education, as well. Calling for block grants for school vouchers are part of the bill, but it would also repeal two laws protecting students, and severely limit the scope of the department’s authority.
repeal the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, which would significantly restrict federal funding provided to public schools by the U.S. Department of Education as well as limit the department’s overall functions. But if this foundational legislation of American public schools is repealed, that means equal opportunity protections for students would also be eliminated, including special education resources for students with special needs, including IEPs.
In sum, DeVos’s school choice bill is just bad legislation overall — but when you really take a close look at it, you can see just how many different areas of education will be impacted, including special education.
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 has been reauthorized by Congress every five years. During the Bush era, it was renamed as the No Child Left Behind Act. Under Obama, it became the Every Student Succeeds Act. No matter the name, it afforded the necessary protections that special education students have come to expect as standard in American public education, specifically ensuring schools that receive federal funding must provide support for students with disabilities. ESEA also provided dedicated grants for special education centers.
House Bill 610 to Defund Public Education-
Truth! & Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
GOP Rep. Steve King of Iowa has introduced H.R. 610 to defund public education.
H.R. 610 would dramatically change how federal education dollars are doled out, and it would lead to less federal funding for public schools by redirecting some funds to private school and homeschool students.
But the claim that H.R. 610 would completely defund public education isn’t entirely accurate.
Specifically, H.R. 610 would repeal the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), which was passed as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s “War on Poverty.”
Congress reauthorized the measure in 2015 as the Every Student Succeeds Act. Before that, it was known as the No Child Left Behind Act. The Department of Education explains that federal block grants supporting school districts in low-income areas have been a primary piece of the legislation over the last 50 years:
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) was signed into law in 1965 by President Lyndon Baines Johnson, who believed that “full educational opportunity” should be “our first national goal.” From its inception, ESEA was a civil rights law.
ESEA offered new grants to districts serving low-income students, federal grants for textbooks and library books, funding for special education centers, and scholarships for low-income college students. Additionally, the law provided federal grants to state educational agencies to improve the quality of elementary and secondary education.
Again, H.R. 610 would repeal ESEA and limit the authority of the Department of Education — marking a dramatic shift in how public schools are funded. The Department of Education would only be authorized to administer education funding in federal block grants to states, a portion of which would have to be administered to private and homeschooled students, according to the text of the bill:
The bill establishes an education voucher program, through which each state shall distribute block grant funds among local educational agencies (LEAs) based on the number of eligible children within each LEA’s geographical area. From these amounts, each LEA shall: (1) distribute a portion of funds to parents who elect to enroll their child in a private school or to home-school their child, and (2) do so in a manner that ensures that such payments will be used for appropriate educational expenses.
To be eligible to receive a block grant, a state must: (1) comply with education voucher program requirements, and (2) make it lawful for parents of an eligible child to elect to enroll their child in any public or private elementary or secondary school in the state or to home-school their child.
Critics of H.R. 610 argue that the bill would have a disproportionately negative impact on public schools in low-income communities because it would repeal ESEA, which has provided a significant source of federal funding to them. The Department of Education reports that more than about 56,000 public schools and 21 million children would be impacted by changes to Title I funding:
ED’s most recent data on participation in the program are from school year (SY) 2009-10. In SY 2009-10 more than 56,000 public schools across the country used Title I funds to provide additional academic support and learning opportunities to help low-achieving children master challenging curricula and meet state standards in core academic subjects. For example, funds support extra instruction in reading and mathematics, as well as special preschool, after-school, and summer programs to extend and reinforce the regular school curriculum.
That same year Title I served more than 21 million children. Of these students, approximately 59 percent were in kindergarten through fifth grade, 21 percent in grades 6-8, 17 percent in grades 9-12, 3 percent in preschool, and less than one percent ungraded.
Supporters of H.R. 610 argue that children from underperforming “Title I” public schools in low-income areas would be able to use a voucher to attend a better private or charter school under H.R. 610.
So, it’s true that H.R. 610 would have a major impact on how federal education funding is doled out, and it would have a more dramatic impact on low-income or “Title I” school districts that received federal grants through ESEA. But the claim that H.R. 610 would defund public education isn’t completely accurate, either. Students would seemingly have less incentive to “opt-out” of better performing public schools, likely leading to minimal impact on those districts. That’s why we’re calling this one “truth” and “fiction.”
The bill has no wording protecting Special Needs kids, no mention of IDEA and FAPE.
Some things ESSA does for Children with Disabilities
-Ensures access to the general education curriculum.
-Ensures access to accommodations on assessments.
-Ensures concepts of Universal Design for Learning
-Includes provisions that require local education agencies to provide evidence-based interventions in schools with consistently underperforming subgroups.
-Requires states in Title I plans to address how they will improve conditions for learning including reducing incidents of bullying and harassment in schools, overuse of discipline practices and reduce the use of aversive behavioral interventions (such as restraints and seclusion).
Please Sign This Petition To Protect The Future Of Our Children
Tell your representatives to vote no on H.R.610 – To distribute Federal funds for elementary and secondary education in the form of vouchers for eligible students and to repeal a certain rule relating to nutrition standards in schools.
Please sign to protect school funding for special needs kids. This bill’s wording means that states will have to either fully fund IDEA with state money or accept its inevitable death.
Contact your representative and find yours here:http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION Against H.R. 610
MoveOn Petitions – Vote NO on House Bill 610
Protect the Department of Education and Vote Against H.R.899
For Conservatives and Libertarians
This special needs mom wants more like Betsy DeVos in Washington
http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/education/315047-this-special-needs-mom-wants-more-like-betsy-devos-in-washington via The Hill 01/19/17
It was abundantly clear early on in the hearing that the American people are rightfully frustrated with the extreme partisanship in Washington, D.C. The Democrats in the hearing room were far more interested in delivering political cheap shots and scoring points for their special interest friends than having a fair and balanced discussion about Mrs. DeVos’ qualifications and her philosophy for education reform. It was a sad and sorry spectacle.
Mrs. DeVos joined our cause in Ohio to create a voucher program to allow parents to send their kids to private schools that do a better job of educating special needs students. Thanks to Mrs. DeVos advocacy, my son, Sam, gained access to a better school and is now a high school graduate. I know that Betsy DeVos has a big heart and deep concern for all students in America, especially the most vulnerable children.
While the Democrats in Washington were grandstanding, Mrs. DeVos was composed, articulate and passionate in outlining her belief that education policy should be driven, first and foremost, by what is best for school children and their parents.
The education establishment and labor bosses in the teacher’s unions are fiercely opposing Mrs. DeVos because they know she is tough, determined and driven by one thing and one thing only; to raise the bar on education in America.
Betsy DeVos places parents like me and kids like Sam first, which is why I believe she will be an excellent education secretary.
VIDEO : Betsy DeVos Haters Actually Agree With Her When Not Given Her Name
This is an interesting comment I found that I thought I’d share:
Here is a brief breakdown of some facts about House Bill 610 to help quell some of the hysteria whipped up by radical progressives and the NEA, SEIU and other leftist organizations. Let’s start out by stating that Public Education in America today has a dismal record of educating our children. When I was growing up in the ’50 & ’60’s America was number one in literacy world wide…then the Federal Government and the Unions took over. Today, we don’t even rank in the top ten in math & science. What the heck happened? When the Federal bureaucratic pinheads, the Teacher’s Union officials and the ACLU finished tinkering with it, our Public Educational System became more concerned with social engineering, emphasizing on things like diversity, gender identity, social justice ( whatever that is ) and equality of outcomes and the changes in curriculum reflected those new-age courses. State governments and local school administrators and teachers lost control of their students and whether or not they were learning anything worthwhile for the real world. It became more about feelings than about facts and results. All you have to do is talk to Corporate HR Directors to find out that our Federal Education Department is failing our children miserably. We are having to recruit people from places like India, China, Pakistan and South Korea because our American children are not being prepared with the proper skills to succeed in our own economy. That is the number one reason you have seen this significant rise in Home Schooling and some parents sending their children to parochial schools even if it doesn’t fit their religious tradition.
Something had to be done and I believe that School Choice and the Parental Voucher System is a good start. If a Public School is failing to teach the students and cannot be brought up to snuff…then it needs to be closed and it’s students and their parents given a choice to send their students to a school where they are doing their job. We spend the highest amount per student on Public Education and get the poorest return on our investment. Money is not the problem but you wouldn’t believe that if you listen to the Democrats…wonder why.
I have found in my 70+ years that politicians are always easiest to control at the local level. The farther it moves up the food-chain the less influence we taxpayers have over the outcomes. Time to bring education back to the states and localities where the parents and PTA can have greater control over decisions made for educating our children. We owe these future generations nothing less.
The classrooms of today are the governments of tomorrow!—
Don’t Panic Over the “No Hungry Kids Act” – Plus a New Bill to Ensure School Food Safety – via TheLunchTray.com March 7, 2017
..readers need to know that King has been trying to gain traction on this bill in the last three congressional sessions and it’s never gone anywhere.
Sources I’ve spoken with in D.C. believe this current iteration of the bill will meet the same fate, noting that it has few co-sponsors and hasn’t been scheduled for a mark-up in the House Education and Workforce Committee. And PredictGov, which assesses the chances of a bill becoming law, gives HR 610 a mere 2 percent chance of enactment. (Apparently, the portion of the bill pertaining to education funding also seems to be a nonstarter, with observers assessing it as “dead on arrival.”)
Passing House Bill 610 would dismantle some of the strongest aspects of public education – via Dallas News March 15, 2017
Study: Private school vouchers favored by DeVos don’t offer real advantage over public schools
A sobering look at what Betsy DeVos did to education in Michigan — and what she might do as secretary of education
Status pending, but nothing done since January https://legiscan.com/US/bill/HB610/2017Status
Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 3-0)
Status: Introduced on January 23 2017 – 25% progression
Action: 2017-01-23 – Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
Pending: House Education And The Workforce Committee
Text: Latest bill text (Introduced) [PDF]
REMOVAL OF NAME OF MEMBER AS COSPONSOR OF H.R. 610
(House of Representatives – March 09, 2017)
REMOVAL OF NAME OF MEMBER AS COSPONSOR OF H.R. 610
Mr. OLSON. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that I be removed as a cosponsor of H.R. 610.
The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Thompson of Pennsylvania). Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Texas? There was no objection.