Beware of the Ombudsman!
The Trump/DeVos Choice Plan is NO CHOICE at all.
If the $5 billion Tax-Credit Scholarships are passed in the Trump budget, say good-bye to your individuality as a private school or religious school because you must teach Common Core and Social and Emotional Learning. The future of your school will morph into a federal government charter school. Read more about the Trump/DeVos/Cruz Tax-Credit Scholarships here:, and here.
Equitable CHOICE means that ALL children under the school-wide definition can apply for these scholarships. Title I does not only mean poor children who are able to take advantage of tax-credit scholarships to enroll in ANY school of his/her CHOICE. Please recall DeVos’s guilty plea of tax credit dollars being “public” here:
“… any education program funded with taxpayer dollars is “public,” even if it is a private religious school that accepts students funded with publicly funded vouchers or tax credit programs.” (Emp. added.) (Source)
Title I School-Wide identifies ALL CHILDREN as “disadvantaged.” The “supplement not supplant” 50/50 share applies to any public school child who has a residence in a Title I school district and where a parent uses that scholarship and enrolls in a private or religious school. Your local school must match 50% of the tuition fee that “follows the child” while parents make the CHOICE of which school their child will attend. This new regulation is called “Title I supplement not supplant” in ESSA, Every Student Succeeds Act, to go into effect this year.
With the exodus of children from their neighborhood school, it appears that public schools will eventually financially collapse as children flee with 50% of funding from the local treasury that goes with them. As more public schools collapse financially, more charter schools are funded and expanded. We must question why money is being funneled into charter schools and NOT into our public school system. There’s something bigger in the works.
Thus, the expansion of charter schools with unelected boards, many for-profit and funded by investment companies, foundations, and private sources, will get a cut of your hard earned tax money which proves this is a move away from having local representatives invested in our schools. No voice, no vote for you the parent or citizen, which means privatizing education. As more Common Core Title I children continue to flood charter, private, and religious schools, accountability expands the “enforcement” mechanism of Title I in ESSA. This in turn, forces accountability toward an authorized charter school management team for all schools…charter, private, religious, daycare, and home schools with the possibility of elimination of public schools all together.
The monitoring and enforcement mechanism is called the ombudsman, the boogeyman in the ESSA regulations who devours your freedom.
Private and religious schools have stated repeatedly, we will NOT take the federal money! Guess what? You’ve been fooled. The money is side-stepped through a parent ESA. The “public” money is diverted by coming through the parent’s education savings account. If a school rejects the application of a federal Title I Tax-credit choice child, that’s a Civil Rights violation. See you in court.
How do Education Savings Accounts work in the equation? How does the money “follow the child?” First the family applies for the scholarship and opens an ESA. The local school must match the funds. Equity is used to balance how much money it takes to educate one child for one school year called a per pupil expenditure. ESSA (Dec. 2015) named 50 pilot schools to go to bat for per pupil expenditures, which in three years, 2019, all schools can switch to a per pupil expenditure. (Source: pages 278-279; ESSA, Every Student Succeeds Act)
Now President Trump’s budget calls for $5 billion for Tax-Credit Scholarships that will be funded in a per pupil expenditure. So, who qualifies for these scholarships when the “supplement not supplant” in ESSA goes into effect? President Trump’s statement…
“create(s) a single school funding system based on weighted per-pupil allocations for low-income and otherwise disadvantaged students.”
Question: “What is the definition of “otherwise disadvantaged students?” This means any child is disadvantaged and At-Risk residing in a Title I school-wide school district.
Question: “Must private and religious schools admit Tax-Credit Scholarship Title I children? Yes! Private and religious schools would have to admit these CHOICE/Title I children.
Question: “Can’t schools just say NO to the funds?” It doesn’t work that way. Schools would have to say “No” to the child. This is a severe Civil Rights violation.
The private and religious school does not directly receive the Title I Tax Credit federal funds and local tax mix. They receive the funds from the parent’s ESA, sidestepping the federal government’s direct financial support and the separation of church and state clause supporting religion. And if a school objects to admit the Title I child, all hell breaks loose and a charge of discrimination under Civil Rights will be brought forward. This is a no-win situation for private and religious schools of how this system is being set-up. See below of how an empowerment CHOICE scholarship was ruled a precedent in Arizona:
Arizona Court of Appeals upheld a ruling in a unanimous decision. Judge Jon W. Thompson wrote for the court, “The specified object of the ESA is the beneficiary families, not private or sectarian schools. Parents can use the funds deposited in the empowerment account to customize an education that meets their children’s unique educational needs.” (Emp. added.)
This means a private or religious school CANNOT object to admitting Title I CHOICE children with Title I Common Core yokes around their necks.
The supplement not supplant regulations will directly effect the elimination of public schools, and also the elimination of your elected officials that monitor your local tax treasury. How will students be monitored for the 50/50 share of “public” money received when transferring to multiple different schools, even in different states? Moving forward with this idea that your taxes must be regionalized, parents must have a government vehicle age 0-21 to deposit that public money. That’s an ESA. Parents of ALL school-wide, identified Title I CHILDREN enrolled in any public, charter, private school, religious school, daycare, and homeschool will be able to open an Education Savings Account, ESA, in which federal, state, and local funds can be deposited. (Note: The possibility of offering free Title I CHOICE money for up to 21 year olds in an ESA opens the idea that this federal money can be used to also fund college. Check out presidential candidates who are offering to pay for college through a government vehicle.) That bag of cash gets bigger and bigger as ESSA allows all monies to be accrued in the Title I bag. (Source: ESSA: Page 290; Eligible Federal Funds for equitable distributions of state and local taxes
The Boogeyman’s Job.
When the “CHOICE” Ombudsman comes to town and cracks the whip…that means obey. Remember, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. The merger of all of these ESSA conditions drive home an idea that most people aren’t thinking about…total federal control of education in the United States.
Page 71 of ESSA:
‘‘(A) IN GENERAL.—Educational services and other benefits for such private school children shall be equitable in comparison to services and other benefits for public school children participating under this part, and shall be provided in a timely manner.
‘‘(B) OMBUDSMAN.—To help ensure such equity for such private school children, teachers, and other educational personnel, the State educational agency involved shall designate an ombudsman to monitor and enforce the requirements of this part.’’;
The following are requirements:
- Your school will be branded in Common Core.
- Your school must take all state administered assessments and tests that measure federal Common Core standards.
- Your teachers must be re-coached in Common Core.
- Your teachers must receive behavioral training in behavioral conditioning called fidelity through IDEA, special education cadres.
- Parent’s “new” found money must be spent on eligible education expenses on a list with periodic audits.
- Your teachers must identify each child (data-mining) for interventions, both dumbed-down Common Core academics and mental health/ behavioral goals.
The writing is on the wall. No, the writing is in the legislation, ESSA.
The regulations state specifically that mental health/psychological services are to be “carried out under the IDEA, Individuals With Disabilities Education Act” known as special education. The legislation also specifies the exact psychological services to be administered: response to intervention, multi-tiered system of supports, positive behavior Intervention and supports, early Intervening services, and universal design for learning.
Not only must these children be enrolled, the school must use social, emotional, and behavioral interventions included under Specialized Individual Support Services in ESSA. This means Common Core mental health, non-academic teacher training and standards for children must be performed in private and religious schools, and to be as equitable as public schools implementing the social, emotional, and behavioral interventions slated in ESSA. These psychological services may also be contracted outside the school to private contractors.
This also means data-mining, data collection, and data identification with a unique national ID for every child and every teacher. This allows the federal government (ombudsman) to cross-match algorithms (feedback loop control) to make sure everyone is in compliance to the national standards. It’s evidence based accountability and federal control.
Children already enrolled in private and religious institutions also become branded with the SCHOOL-WIDE banner in that their funding would also be determined originating from their home based local school where they would normally be enrolled which is determined on residing in that school district.
Parents are wondering what will happen if they lunge for the “free money” in CHOICE. The consequences are public Title I funds and Common Core hanging around your child’s neck. Private and religious schools will be doomed. This is the end game. This is how socialism works. This is not a pretty story. You must share this story with private, religious, home schools, and day care centers.
President Trump’s current budget plans with Betsy DeVos proves he’s plowing ahead to use Choice. Representative government will be destroyed by eliminating your locally elected representatives. Tax-credit scholarship money goes directly to parental ESA’s eliminating states rights to control the budget. Property rights will be revamped by redistributing tax money from wealthy school districts. Your tax money follows a child directly into other schools or to other school districts that will regionalize your tax base. Children will be psychoanalyzed and conditioned toward global citizenship. The kicker will be dishing out tax free money for business and industry to access our children as a commodity with a 100% tax write-off that is staggering. This vision will destabilize education and collapse the public school system in favor of Common Core, CHOICE, and charter schools. This plan will control private and religious schools, day care centers, home schools, and charter schools creating a federal taskmaster for all schools IF the Tax-Credit Choice Scholarships stay in the budget.
President Trump hasn’t said one word about stopping the data mining, eliminating the psychological probing at school, or cutting the CHOICE package in his budget.
America is toast.
It’s time to lobby the opposite, political animal…the Democrats. Governor Wolfe vetoed the Republican $100 Million for Tax-Credit Scholarships in Pennsylvania last month. Dems are not so willing ambassadors to support choice money going to private and religious schools. Is that a “win” for now? I’ll take it.
© 2019 Anita Hoge – All Rights Reserved
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