Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

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Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Federal Government and Education


School taxes don’t go to our federal government, but our federal government invests in educating our youth.  Federal funds are sent directly to states and local school districts.

For example, the 2006 budget provide $37.6 billion for K-12 education.  The Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Title 1 provided $13.3 billion.  The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part B, provided $11.1 billion in grants to states.  Improving Teacher Quality received $2.9 billion.  The 21st Century Community Learning Centers received $ 991.1 million.  English Language Learners received $675.8 million and those schools impacted by military bases received $ 1.2 billion.

The GI Bill of 1944 was the first important federal effort to provide financial aid for military veterans to attend college.  In addition, federal civil rights laws require all schools and colleges to conform to national standards of educational equality.

Our federal governments commitment to improve and finance public schools expanded enormously when Congress passed the National Defense Education Act of 1958 and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.  With those two statutes, Congress addressed for the first time such broad problems as expanding educational opportunity for poor children and improving instruction in pivotal but usually neglected subjects, such as science, mathematics, and foreign languages.

Real opportunity requires everyone get the education and training, that they’ll need to land a good-paying job.  The bipartisan reform of No Child Left Behind was an important start, and we've been able to increased early childhood education, lifted high school graduation rates, and increase the number of graduates in fields like engineering.  We should continue building on that progress, by providing Pre-K for all, offering every student the hands-on computer science and math classes that make them job-ready, and recruit and support effective teachers.

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