HB 610: The Good Old Days Are Here Again?
Or The Fleecing of Public Schools.
By Jill Jenkins
|My first day of school in 1959 wearing a dress my mother made me accompanied by my older brother John.|
Nostalgia is fun sometimes remembering how wonderful life was in the 1950's and 1960's. I started school in 1959 wearing a dress made by my mother and carrying a brown paper bag filled with three waxed bags: one containing a tuna fish sandwich, one containing a handful of Clover Club Potato Chips, and one containing three Oreo cookies. I was lucky. Not everyone in my school had breakfast before school; not everyone ate anything for lunch; and not everyone in my school looked forward to a warm meal when their father came home from work. Many of the legislatures and the president believe that returning to the good old days is the right thing to do. They are thinking of the lucky ones, but do their plans help those less fortunate?
HB 610 would destroy much of the progress that the war on poverty legislation passed during Lyndon Johnson's presidency made in 1965. Despite, Bill O'Reilly statement that poverty hasn't really changed since 1965 despite the trillions spent according to the article,"Bill O'Reilly says poverty hasn't budged since 1965 despite 'trillions' spent" in PolitiFact., the facts show a different story. According to Pew Research considerably fewer people live below the poverty level than did in 1965, especially in the deep South. The chart below:
|My brother-in-law Aaron Lobato.|
First, many low income children depend on free or reduced lunches everyday. If these children are not fed, they can not perform at their highest levels in school. This proposed legislation would abolish funding of federally funded "No Hungry Kids Act" and do away with nutrition guidelines for cafeterias. This would significantly diminish the opportunities for success for these hungry students. Eliminating the nutrition rules for school cafeterias means school might have the option of selling foods and beverages that benefit the school financially but not the nutritional needs of the students. I have worked in schools that placed soda machines throughout the schools to increase sales and received kick backs from the beverage distribution companies. When schools are allowed to receive "kick-backs" from beverage companies, students begin to drink an abnormal amount of sugary beverages. The schools make a profit to pay for activities, but the students' behavior becomes outrageous, and their ability to concentrate reduced. No one wins.
|My step-son Braden sitting before a collection of pies. If there are no rules for the cafeteria, why not.|
|My grandchildren, Elias and Isaac and my sister grandchildren, Damion and Natasha|
What does this bill offer us? State Block Grants to be used as vouchers. Essentially, this bill would replace public schools with a publicized program of education with no accountability or quality requirements. They are hoping their rich friends who start "for profit schools" can become richer from the public school coffers like they did from the "for profit" colleges that sent millions into debt for sub-quality educations like those at Trump University. This isn't back to the "good old days," but for whom? No, the students. This is moving tax dollars from the education of the poor, the intellectually handicapped, and those with language barriers into the pockets of the greedy businessmen. Some want to use these vouchers to provide tax dollars to those who wish to homeschool their children, because they feel their children should not be exposed to the immoral attitudes in public schools. Isn't stealing funding from poor children a greater moral issue? Making money while depleting the schools ability to provide for the poor, the handicapped and the gifted is like hawk devouring carrion on the highway is not the answer. This is opening the door for shysters to devour the educational funds by providing low quality education and leaving all of those students most difficult to teach in the dust. That is not what our Founding Fathers had in mind when they set up a program of free, public schools.
|My daughter, Jeanette and her friend, Carly graduating from 8th grade.|