RED ALERT! WE MUST STOP HR5 – Masquerading as the “Student Success Act” or NCLB Reauthorization!

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Our US Congressional Leadership is pushing HR5, the 600 page Reauthorization of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and have rebranded it the “Student Success Act” – DO NOT BE FOOLED!  It’s NOT going to bring Student Success!

This is happening with lightning speed! PLEASE contact our US Reps: Here is their contact information:

Click on each name to be taken to their contact pages:

Senator Mike Enzi

Senator John Barrasso

Representative Cynthia Lummis

Why VOTE NO on HR5?

1. HR5 Denigrates Parental Rights and Seizes State Sovereignty

  • No program shall “operate within a State, unless the legislature of that State shall have . . . waived the State’s rights and authorities to act inconsistently with any requirement that might be imposed by the Secretary as a condition of receiving that assistance.” (Sec. 6561) (emphasis added).
  • Federal requirements will trump the rights “reserved to the States and individual Americans by the United States Constitution” to lead in the education of their child. (Sec. 6564)
  • Requires states to change laws and regulations to “conform” to HR5. (Sec. 1403)
  • Alters the governance structures of states by requiring them to form “Committees of Practitioners” to whom the state must submit rules and regulations. (Sec. 1403)

2. HR5 Does Nothing to Relieve Children From No Child Left Behind’s (NCLB’s) Oppressive Testing Requirements.

3. Feds Will Effectively Direct State Education Policy through Enhanced Continuation of Heavy-Handed NCLB Policies

  • Requires states to demonstrate to the federal government that their standards, assessments, and state accountability systems meet the goal of “prepar[ing] all students to graduate high school for postsecondary education or the workforce.” (Sec. 1001)
  • Requires states to submit comprehensive state plans, which the Secretary can disapprove. (Sec. 1111)
  • States had to make the same showing and meet the same definitional goal to receive NCLB waivers and Race to the Top grants.. HR5 allows for a Common Core “rebrand.”  (Sec. 1001) and (Sec. 1111(3)(A))
  • Prohibitions against the Secretary forcing states into adopting Common Core are meaningless.

4. Increases Federal Data Collection To Control Curriculum

  • Empowers the Department of Education to request individual student and teacher data from State and Local Education Agencies.
  • Authorizes substantial new funding to use this data to evaluate whether schools are using “effective” instructional methods.  (Sec. 2111(b)(1)(A)) and (Sec. 2132)

The above information is originally from the Parents Against the Common Core website.

The 5th concern that I am adding, is in my opinion, the MOST IMPORTANT CONCERN!

5.   It Mandates, for Private Schools, NON-Religious Programs, Counselors, Technologies

“Student for Success Act: HR5” can be found here: Bill Text: Student Success Act

Posted below is the letter I wrote to my US representatives:  Please feel free to use this to get a jump start on yours!  Time is of the essence!  I chose to focus on the religious freedom aspect.  Please write what you feel is most important or include all of the issues from the 5 points above.

Dear Mike Enzi, Cynthia Lummis, and John Barrasso,

HR5, the Student Success Act, hurts religious liberty.

Hidden deep in the 600 page bill are affronts to parental rights, state rights, and private schools’ rights, including the right to promote religion to children. This is the bottom line for me — the reason to vote no on this bill. It is true that the marketing of “reduce the federal footprint” and the bill’s opening pages  are very enticing to a conservative’s ears.

However,  HR5 mandates that PRIVATE SCHOOLS: “ensure that teachers and families of the children participate, on an equitable basis, in services and activities… SECULAR, NEUTRAL, NONIDEOLOGICAL.— Such educational services or other benefits, including materials and equipment, shall be secular, neutral and non-ideological.” See pdf of bill, pages 78-82.

The bill says that the government will enforce this and other regulations, in PRIVATE schools, thus: “The State educational agency involved shall designate an ombudsman to monitor and enforce the requirements.” On page 82 the bill states that the LEA (school district) must consult with private school officials and must transmit results of their “agreement” to this state-paid ombudsman.

The attack on private schools’ religious freedoms is really the heart of this matter for me.  There are many home school statutes across the nation and often times they are considered a form of private school.  Also, I am the Co-owner and Education Director for the Glenn J. Kimber Academy, Sweetwater, LLC in Green River, Wyoming.  I fear that this bill will greatly affect what I do for my own children and our students.

Please, stand up AGAINST this bill FOR FREEDOM, especially religious freedom.

Thank you,

Christy Hooley

Co-Owner/Educational Director GJK Academy, Sweetwater, WY LLC Green River, WY

307-***-****

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P.S.

Additional reasons to vote NO on HR5:

It represents a federal takeover of private school benefits funding:

On page 535, the bill slashes freedom by mandating equity for private and public schools. “Benefits provided under this section for private school children, teachers, and other educational personnel shall be equitable in comparison to services and other benefits for public school children, teachers, and other educational personnel”. The government has no right to command a private school to give more benefits, nor to withhold benefits, from private school teachers, staff or children. The same page states: “Expenditures for educational services and other benefits to eligible private school children, teachers, and other service personnel shall be equal to the expenditures for participating public school children.” The ombudsman’s job, according to page 80, is to “monitor and enforce” such “equity for private school children”.

The bill increases data collection. See 2. SEC. 1138:

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It makes state rights conditional. See page 564 Subpart 4, Section 6561:

“STATES TO RETAIN RIGHTS AND AUTHORITIES THEY DO NOT EXPRESSLY WAIVE” –How will a state “expressly waive” its authorities and rights? –Answer from the bill: simply by having a state legislature accept federal money. A state that acts “inconsistently with any requirement that might be imposed by the Secretary as a condition of receiving that assistance” will waive its authority because the legislature of that state would have “expressly approved that [federal] program”. If a state’s or a parent’s rights conflicted with a requirement, too bad: the federal bill claims authority to enforce obedience from states because the states take the money.

It makes parents’ rights conditional. See page 567, Section 6564: “…Other than the terms and conditions expressly approved by State law under the terms of this subpart, control over public education and parental rights to control the education of their children are vested exclusively within the autonomous zone of independent authority reserved to the states and individual Americans by the United States Constitution, other than the Federal Government’s undiminishable obligation to enforce minimum Federal standards of equal protection and due process.” By tying inalienable parental rights to the receipt of funds and federal “obligations,” the bill just claimed authority to take parental rights away, under conditions it has just defined. Even in the statement of purpose on page 11, the bill minimizes parents and maximizes itself, by “affording parents substantial and meaningful opportunities to participate in the education of their children”. To reduce parents to a recipient of government-granted “opportunities to participate in” the education of a child is de-parenting. It’s far, far different from Utah’s legal code, which states in multiple places that: “A student’s parent or guardian is the primary person responsible for the education of the student, and the state is in a secondary and supportive role to the parent or guardian.”

 

I’d like to thank Christal Swasey and her blog Common Core: Education without Representation for all of the hard work she has put into informing her readers and our neighboring state of Utah!