July 23, 2003

Does he think we don't notice?

This statement on Senator (VT) Jim Jeffords' website needs a wide audience:

One of the most disturbing effects of the economic downturn is the lack of state and federal funding for our educational system - where States are laying off teachers, cutting school days and eliminating early childhood programs - most of which have only just started. The President's advisors tell him to endlessly repeat "No Child Left Behind."

But in the 17 months since that policy became law, we've seen something very different. Too many children are being left behind. President Bush says the new law will lead to stronger schools. I say it is all part of a quiet plan to starve our public schools so this country can move to vouchers and private school choice...

He continues:

A recent New York Times report noted that combined budget deficits for 50 states are estimated to be between $52 billion and $82 billion, and the schools are taking the worst hit. In Oregon, 84 school districts closed their schools ahead of schedule - some by as much as a month -- because the money ran out. This comes at a time when schools are faced with mounting pressure to meet the requirements of No Child Left Behind or face penalties...

In my home state of Vermont, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed a resolution last week expressing its concerns over the policies and mandates of No Child Left Behind. They noted that the law could cost Vermont up to three times more to implement than the federal government provides - and maybe more - "thereby placing a major burden on the state's strained financial resources…"

If this wasn't all bad enough, we learned last week that the U.S. Department of Education plans to spend a half-million dollars - yes, a half-million dollars! - on a public relations campaign aimed at quieting the critics of No Child Left Behind. During three decades in Congress, I have never heard of such an ad campaign. Yet as schools are cutting early education programs for lack of money, the President has no problem with assembling an eight-person "communications" team to try and make a bad plan look good.

Saying one thing, doing another...

Posted by James at July 23, 2003 4:53 PM
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That's what this President is all about in a nutshell. Saying he'll do one thing then acting different once the moment has passed. He must think we're as dim as he appears to be.

That statement reminded me of this editorial. Not as extreme as the title suggests:

Why Bush is impeachable

Posted by: Mike at July 23, 2003 7:59 PM

To answer your question ("Does he think we don't notice?"), yes. Most people are too uninformed and don't care. They'd prefer to be ignorant.

To answer again with a question: Do you think he cares? Bushie Bush has no interest in the common man's opinion. He's made good on his promises to Big Business, and that's good enough. Who cares what we working slobs think?

Posted by: Patti M. at July 24, 2003 3:25 PM

You know, I really thought Reagan had done the maximum amount of damage to the public school system that was humanly possible. Once again, even my most cynical theories turn out to be optimistic.

Posted by: julie at July 24, 2003 7:42 PM

Julie, Julie, Julie. All the public schools need is a l'il prayin' and all will be fine!

Posted by: Patti M. at July 25, 2003 9:58 AM

Wups! Forgot to consult my Bible first for advice. Sorry! :-)

Posted by: Julie at July 25, 2003 1:28 PM

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