Monday, July 8, 2024

In Case You Missed It – July 8, 2024

Here are links to last week's articles receiving the most attention on NEIFPE's social media accounts. Keep up with what's going on, what's being discussed, and what's happening with public education.

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"The assault on public education has displayed the fundamental disconnect between the civic purposes of education and citizens who see education as just another private, consumer good–skills to be acquired (by those who can afford it) in order to enhance the ability of one’s children to succeed in the marketplace." -- Sheila Kennedy in The MAGA Vendetta Against Arts And Education.


The MAGA Vendetta Against Arts And Education

Former Republican Sheila Kennedy writes about politics in Indiana. In this article, she explains an imminent threat to public education.

From Sheila Kennedy
I forget who first popularized the phrase “you ain’t seen nothin’ yet,” but if Trump should win in November, Project 2025 has outlined policies that would dramatically escalate the attack on public education.

Here are some of the elements of what I can only describe as an assault on steroids:
  • Title I, the $18 billion federal fund that supports low-income students, would disappear in a decade.
  • Federal special education funds would flow to school districts as block grants with no strings attached, or even to savings accounts for parents to use on private school or other education expenses.
  • The U.S. Department of Education would be eliminated.
  • The federal government’s ability to enforce civil rights laws in schools would be scaled back.
The proposals are contained in a comprehensive policy agenda that’s part of a Heritage Foundation-led initiative called Project 2025: Presidential Transition Project, which includes nearly 900 pages of detailed plans for virtually every corner of the federal government and a database of potential staffers for a conservative administration. It will also feature a playbook for the first 180 days of a new term.

Project 2025 was devised by several former Trump administration officials and allies, working with dozens of aligned advocacy organizations (misnamed “think tanks.”) including Moms for Liberty. You will recall that Moms for Liberty is the organization that fought school boards over COVID-19 safety protocols, advocates for censorship of books in school libraries, and endorses far-right school board candidates.


The Education Wars Provides A Guide For Supporters Of Public Education

The podcasters at Have You Heard provide a playbook to defend public education.
"If we are to preserve our schools, it must be clear that public education is for all of us. We must win the peace.

"If we fail at that, we will lose our schools. And if we lose them, they won’t come back."
From Peter Greene at Forbes
In their 2020 book, A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door, Jack Schneider and Jennifer Berkshire sounded the alarm:
The threat to public grave. A radical vision for unmaking the very idea of public schools has moved from the realm of ideological pipe dream to legitimate policy.
In their new book The Education Wars (out this week), Schneider and Berkshire update us on how that radical vision, now fueled by the culture wars, is faring.

The culture wars—roaring debates over what schools are for, what they should teach, who should decide— are not new. But the writers note that “this time it’s different.” This time, the questions under debate include the question of whether public schools should exist at all.

Debunking the School Choice Movement’s Top Evangelist

Corey DeAngelis is on a mission to demonize public schools—and promote voucher programs that benefit his wealthy backers.

From Peter Greene at The Progressive
Corey DeAngelis is an influential, if not the most influential, voice in the rightwing campaign to demonize public schools and privatize public education. The guy’s résumé hits all the bases in the libertarian gameplan. After earning a doctorate at the University of Arkansas’s education reform program (funded by the pro-school choice Walton family), DeAngelis helped found the Education Freedom Institute, became a senior fellow at the Reason Foundation, worked as an adjunct scholar at the CATO Institute, took up an appointment as a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, and was hired on as a senior fellow at Betsy DeVos’s American Federation for Children.

He still holds all of those jobs, but his more common title is “school choice evangelist.” As the recent school voucher wave has surged in state after state, DeAngelis has been there to spread the word. While on tour in support of his new book, he distills the current pro-voucher argument.

In a recent talk at the Heritage Foundation, DeAngelis touched on most of the main arguments for vouchers (many of them false) and revealed a few truths about the pro-voucher strategy.

1. The Evil Unions and COVID...


Imagine if every child has a library of their own

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library is a free children's book gifting program that she started in 1995. The program began by offering every child in Sevier County, Tennessee, the area where Dolly was born and raised, a free age-appropriate book each month in the mail until the age of five, regardless of family income. In 2000, the Imagination Library became so popular that Dolly announced that she wanted to make the program available to any community that would partner with her and support it locally. The program has expanded and is currently located in 1,800 local communities in the US, Canada, Australia, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.

Now, the Imagination Library is coming to Fort Wayne.

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette**
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a pathway to bridging the reading gap between low-income families and their wealthier counterparts. But most of all, the library is fun for children and families.

Inspired by Parton’s favorite children’s book, “The Little Engine That Could,” Allen County Public Library staff has launched a spirited $100,000 fundraising campaign with the Allen County Public Library Foundation to bring Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to local children. The program gives children one free book each month from birth to age 5.

The enthusiasm is palpable, with nearly 900 Allen County families eager to enroll their children — a testament to the community’s belief in the power of early literacy.

**Note: The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette is behind a paywall. Digital access, home delivery, or both are available with a subscription. Staying informed is essential; one way to do that is to support your local newspaper. For subscription information, go to [NOTE: NEIFPE has no financial ties to the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette]

Note: NEIFPE's In Case You Missed It is posted by the end of the day every Monday except after holiday weekends or as otherwise noted.


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