Sunday, July 29, 2012

Romney Proposal Is a Reverse Robin Hood Scheme

*  Vice President Joe Biden highlighted a plan by Republican candidate Mitt Romney to siphon Title I money to private schools.

Toledo Blade:

Vice President Joe Biden told teachers today that they are "under full blown assault" from Mitt Romney and his Republican allies.

On the third day of the American Federation of Teachers convention at Cobo Center in Detroit, and against the backdrop of a boisterous teachers union convention, Mr. Biden lauded teachers and blasted Republicans.

The vice president hammered Mr. Romney for his education reform plan that includes allowing states to utilize Title I funds, which were originally intended to help schools in disadvantaged areas, and instead use that money to help students pay for private school education....

Education Week has more on the Romney proposal:

Presumptive GOP nominee Gov. Mitt Romney called today for making federal funding for special education and disadvantaged students portable—meaning the money would follow students to any school their parents choose, including a private school. 

Under his proposal, parents could also choose to use the funds under Title I and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act at charter schools, for online courses, or for tutoring. Title I is funded at $14.5 billion this year, and IDEA is funded at $11.6 billion, and any proposal to radically shift the use of that money would be almost certain to face a host of administrative, budgetary, and political hurdles from the Congress and statehouses on down....

....The proposal would add to the budget woes districts have experienced as federal stimulus money has tapered off and state contributions have shrunk, said Lindsay Jones, senior director of policy and advocacy services at the Council for Exceptional Children.....

Taking money away from children in disadvantaged neighborhoods and children with challenges would be horrible. Children with special needs, learning disabilities, and learning difficulties would lose special programs that support their learning.  Romney's idea that the money could be used  by the student to get online help, tutoring, or attend a private school is outrageous.  With vouchers already in use, the last thing failing charter schools need is more money.  Besides, there are no guarantees that the money would be used to provide extra help for the students that need it the most.  Such a proposal by Mitt Romney shows that he doesn't know much about the operations of public schools, and Title 1. 

We've seen Romney fail at his foreign diplomacy, and now we see an example of how his proposal for education would lead to massive failures for our at risk students, and others that are struggling. This is another example of how Romney is engaging in reverse Robin Hood tactics--- take from the poor to give to the rich.  Even his calls for higher taxes on the middle class and the poor while giving more tax cuts for the rich, shows that Romney's elitist views favor the top 1%.

Here is more about the failures of the online schools----

The NEA also noted a recent study that indicates:

Children who enroll in a K12 Inc. cyberschool are more likely to fall behind in reading and math, move between schools or leave school altogether, according to a new study from the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) at the University of Colorado....

....Math scores for K12 Inc.’s students are 14 to 36 percent lower than scores for students attending more “traditional schools” in the states in which the company operates schools. In grades 3 – 11, K12 Inc. students’ reading scores were between 2 and 11 percentage points below the state average.

The on-time graduation rate for K12 Inc. students is 49.1 percent, compared with a 79.4 percent on-time graduation rate for the states in which the company operates schools....

Our tax money goes to these cyber and charter schools yet they are not providing the needed help students require.  The only people succeeding appear to be the owners of these schools because they are getting richer, while student test scores continue to go down.  Yet Mitt Romney wants to give them more money.