NOT SO FAST: A+ AMENDMENT HAS REAL PROBLEMS
“Not So Fast: A+ Amendment Has Real Problems”
by Donna Garner
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) was passed in 1965 and was 33 pages long.
The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation was passed in 2001 and is an omnibus piece of legislation that is 670 pages long.
HR 5 (Student Success Act), another omnibus piece of legislation, is up for consideration by Congress in 2015 and is 620 pages long. (2.27.15 – The Daily Signal — http://dailysignal.com/2015/02/27/amidst-conservative-backlash-house-pulls-no-child-left-behind/ )
For the moment, HR 5 (Student Success Act) has been withdrawn because of lack of support both from conservatives and Democrats. Conservatives do not like HR 5 for many reasons, one of which is that states would still be roped into NCLB requirements.
Some conservatives want North Carolina Congressman Walker’s amendment entitled The Academic Partnerships Lead Us To Success (a.k.a., A+ Amendment) to be offered as a rewrite to HB 5. The A+ Amendment is 10 pages long. — Link to + Amendment: https://walker.house.gov/sites/walker.house.gov/files/WALKNC_002_xml.pdf
In reading through the A+ Amendment, I have composed a brief summary of the main points; but people need to read the 10-page Amendment for themselves to verify my brief statements.
NOT SO FAST: TAKE TIME TO READ THE SMALL PRINT OF THE A+ AMENDMENT
Under the A+ Amendment, the federal funds under a State’s Declaration of Intent can be sent to private schools.
This might sound good on the surface, but the consequences would be terrible for private schools that take the federal A+ dollars. Why?
Private schools that take any federal dollars would be forced to comply with Title IX no matter what the private school’s closely held religious beliefs are.
On 10.26.10, Obama’s U. S. Dept. of Education under Sect. Arne Duncan and homosexual Kevin Jennings, who was put in charge of the Safe and Drug-Free Schools Initiative at the USDOE, sent a 10-page document to “all public and private schools, colleges, and universities, including the country’s 15,000 school superintendents.”
This document threatened schools, K-16, with litigation and loss of federal funds if the schools did not promote and accept Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) behavior.
The Obama administration deliberately took the Title IX federal law and distorted the verbiage to include gender identity.
As written, Title IX did NOT include gender identity. It said harassment based on race, color, national origin, sex, or disability violated the federal civil rights laws.
The Obama administration, however, decided to extrapolate the previous definition of the word “sex” to mean lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender.
Educators were told that they could be prosecuted for not “promoting” the LGBT lifestyle as being normal.
Schools that take any federal funds under Title IX are subject to the law – even private schools!
This intimidation and bullying by the Obama administration has forced the LGBT lifestyle into our nation’s schools. Of course, all students should be taught to treat others with dignity; and bullying is a terrible problem. However, forcing students to accept a perverse lifestyle that leads students into sexually transmitted diseases and early death is not something that schools should be advocating.
Tolerance is a good thing to teach students, but educators should not be intimidated into forcing students to accept perversity.
“Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681 et seq., and its implementing regulations, 34 C.F.R. Part 106, prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities operated by recipients of Federal financial assistance.” Link to Dear Colleague Letter, Title IX: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201104.html
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”)2 is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded education programs and activities. All public and private elementary and secondary schools, school districts, colleges, and universities receiving any federal financial assistance (hereinafter “schools”, “recipients”, or “recipient institutions”) must comply with Title IX.3 — http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/qa-201404-title-ix.pdf
THE OTHER REQUIREMENTS IN THE A+ AMENDMENT
Allows states to opt out of NCLB and to have certain designated State and State Authorizing Officials to manage the federal funds;
These people would file a Declaration of Intent with the U. S. Sect. of Education for as long as a 5-year period;
The Sect. of Education would have to consider the Declaration of Intent within 60 days; if the Sect. does not deny the Declaration, then it is deemed approved;
The State can choose any program to be included in the consolidated federal funds (a.k.a., block grant) that is made available by Congress for educational purposes. The exception is civil rights laws such as IDEA (Special Education), Section 504, Americans for Disabilities Education Act, Title IX, etc. which must be followed by the State.
The State has to verify in its Declaration of Intent that the requirements of the civil rights laws will be met if the State takes the federal funds;
The State can make changes to the Declaration of Intent during the 5-year period by submitting amendments to the Sect. of Education;
The amendment to the Declaration of Intent can add federal programs or remove them;
The State has a set time limit to comply with the federal government’s requirements that come with the federal funds;
The State has one year to inform parents of students’ progress on the state-approved assessment system;
The State has to explain use of the federal funds to assess students’ progress, close achievement gap among various student groups, improve educational opportunities for the disadvantaged;
During the 5 years of the Declaration of Intent, the state has to spend not less than 90% of the amount spent compared to the amount spent during the school year when the A+ Act was first enacted (allows for state documented exceptions such as natural disasters);
The State can only spend 1% on administrative costs;
If a State does not include Part A of Title I in its Declaration of Intent, then that State can spend 3% on administrative costs.
Bottom line: I believe I could support the A+ Amendment if the federal funds were prohibited from being sent to private schools. If private schools were tempted to take the A+ federal dollars, the consequences of Title IX, IDEA, Section 504, Title I, etc. would destroy the independence that allows private schools to produce some of the best graduates and leaders in America.
“Open Letter to Parents, Legislators, School Personnel: Which Policy Are You Going To Promote?” – by Donna Garner — http://kgab.com/students-losing-their-right-to-express-their-opinions-by-donna-garner/