Testimony was heard today on LD 96 in committee. From all accounts it seems as if the many who spoke in opposition to this bill may have won the day. It is important, though,that the people of Maine remain vigilant and maintain a watch on the actors and players in Augusta.
TMCV has just been made aware of another bill, LD 527, An Act To Prohibit Corporal Punishment In Schools, that is being brought before committee tomorrow. The language in this bill is so vague and broad it would apply to all forms of schools including homeschooling. This is just another thinly veiled attempt for a way that education bureaucrats can leverage their agenda and control into the private homes of Maine people.
It’s short notice. TMCV has just found out. The hearing is tomorrow at 1 pm in room 202 at the Cross Building in Augusta. Those who can should speak out against it, as I fear it is another bill that has a sinister goal to limit liberties of Maine’s sovereign citizens.
It is hard to know whether to express grief or anger at the impending collapse of our educational system. Perhaps the myriad of emotions that runs the gamut are each in their own space appropriate. The grief for the teacher and student trapped in a relic whose time has passed and anger for the bureaucracy whose blind ambitions have too long and yet still ignored the warning bells of a sinking behemoth pitched up in its death plunge sputtering, hissing to its depths of oblivion. The time for the salvation of public education is nearly passing the cusp into the realm of futility.
Captained by a stubborn addiction to agenda rather than the purpose of teaching, a top heavy education system teeters dangerously as if drunken by its desire for self preservation. As the passengers flee the sinking ship rowing towards a fresh new horizon of choice and freedom, the aging hulk reaches out for them as if to drag them back into the dark cold vacuum it leaves as it sinks beneath the waves. Disaster loves company.
The inevitable shift in the educational landscape is borne out of necessity here in rural Maine. Despite the protestations of Senator Collins that Betsy DeVos did not understand the needs of rural Maine for public education, it is the Senator who is completely out of touch with the changing winds in rural Maine. Blind and bound by financial ties to powerful unions, she instead gives stark example to the reasons rural Maine is rejecting public education in growing numbers and choosing instead to embark in more seaworthy vessels than sieve Collins seems bound to protect.
Despite the ruinous wreckage surrounding it, like a poverty stricken monarch the public school system is still demanding obeisance. A bill, LD 96, sponsored by Senator Nate Libby, Democrat, would require parents to “consult” with school boards before removing children to a alternative educational system or be found in truancy. In other words, the failing school system that has our once world class education standards plummeting in the eyes of the nations wants to consulted before parents are “allowed” to make choices for their own children. Both Senator Collins in Washington and Senator Libby in Augusta are completely out of touch with the people in Maine they represent.
The broad and, yes, harsh characterizations of the failing public school system are not to ignore the great work of so many good teachers who bravely work to educate our youth in this arcane system. It is to paint the over-arching picture of the necessity and reality of change. Many families, and more are coming, have found greener pastures for the education of their children outside of public schools. This is the new horizon for education in this country and in this state.
LD 96 has yet to be debated before committee. The public can go before committee or send in written testimony. I would urge so many who believe in a brighter future for our children to contact the Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs and make your voice be known. Having to consult a school board for parenting choices on your child’s future is like asking Hollywood actors for marriage advice.
Much of the attention this week has centered around the Net Neutrality issue. While Americans are struggling to understand how capitalism in our Country can be circumvented by three dictators in closed meeting without any accountability to the citizens of this Country, there have been some other bills debated this week. One is HR 5, the Student Success Act.
First let me preface my comments by saying it is the position of TMCV that the Federal involvement in the educational system is the primary reason for the deplorable failing in the educational standards for the youth of our Country. That acknowledged, the pragmatist must assess the landscape he faces in the modern educational debate. The Federal Government controls the majority of our education. The challenge before us is to keep government out of the forms of education that are still free from Federal control.
The initial reports I had on HR 5 painted a negative picture. I posted some of those reports here on TMCV. Further review of the bill and the support of some organizations I respect, has caused me to cautiously reconsider. I do so with the caveats so aptly stated by many of the bills supporters.
The HomeSchool Legal Defense Association sent a letter of support for HR 5 but with numerous caveats. The majority of these emphasized the necessity that the language which protects home and Christian schools from government interference remain in the bill. The Family Research Counsel has a similar letter in which their support is predicated upon language protecting children from sex education and wording that protects and upholds religious liberty. Still, the implication is that this support could be withdrawn if certain language in the bill is withdrawn.
The Student Success Act has yet to be voted on. Sources in Washington tell me there is at least 40 amendments still to be debated on HR 5. For the home schooler or administrator of a Christian school, it is important to understand the language of independence in this bill hinges on not taking Federal funds. As with anything, the temptation to take monies from the Federal or State governments will most assuredly result in government oversight. This will destroy any free forms of education. If we want to be independent, we must truly be independent.