Voluntarily opting out of “No Child Left Behind?”

Today from Chuck Muth: “Despite unanimous support in the state House for dumping President Bush’s No Child Left Behind law – and likely passage in the Senate – Utah’s Gov. Jon Huntsman bowed to pressure from the White House and delayed action on the bill for another month…during a special session to be called just to address this issue. Uncle Sam really knows how to twist arms and break legs when he wants to. And Utah taxpayers will pick up the tab for the unnecessary special session.
At the heart of the matter is the simple principle that the federal government should be strictly limited and the states should be responsible for matters such as education. What’s amazing, under the circumstances, is this comment yesterday from federal Education Czar Margaret Spellings: ‘Ultimately, education decisions are made at the local level, and that’s how it should be.'”
But consider what was said 10 days ago. Are you surprised?

One Less Child Left Behind?

Yesterday’s report is that Utah may be about to opt out of the No Child Left Behind abomination (thanks to Chuck Muth for the pointer). If they do opt out they are saying “thanks, but no thanks to $116 million in federal aid.” “state policy-makers are fed up with federal control of education and dictates.” The Utah legislature appears to be unanimous in wanting to opt out. According to the report, “eight other state legislatures — in Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Vermont and Virginia — are considering challenges to No Child Left Behind.”
One can only hope that this is the beginning of the end for the fraudulently titled “no child left behind” act.
The Washington Times further reports today that state legislators are demanding more flexibility.
Unfortunately, in response the Department of Education seems to have abandoned all principles of federalism: “The Bush administration warned that the national conference’s action ‘could be interpreted as wanting to reverse the progress we’ve made.’ ‘We will not reverse course,’ said Ray Simon, U.S. assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education. ‘Children must be challenged to reach their full potential, not told to settle for someone else’s lowered expectations.'” The administration is going to regret its top-down, one-size-fits-all centralized control.
When is New Mexico going to opt out of NCLB?

APS Wastes Money on Building — Surprise?

Is anybody really surprised about the report of waste by Albuquerque Public Schools? It is easy to understand why. Recall the words of economist Arnold King:
“In my view, government’s biggest weakness relative to the private sector is its inability to reward success more than failure. The biggest reason that I believe private-sector education would prove superior in the long run is that I think it would tend to weed out failing teachers and failing processes in general.”

School Choice in NM — We already have it!

The other day I mentioned that Educate New Mexico is now providing choice to poor parents having children in failing government schools. How can you help? If you are in the 28% federal tax bracket and 6% state tax bracket, a contribution of $1,000 to Educate New Mexico would only cost you $679 net of taxes (assuming, of course, that you are itemizing deductions). But it’s even better! Educate New Mexico receives a one dollar match for every two dollars donated. Using the above example, the donor would be able to get $1,500 into school choice for a cost of only $679 net-of-taxes! It’s worth pointing out that Educate New Mexico has very low overhead, so most of the $1,500 would actually reach the poor family. If you are in a lower or higher tax bracket than the example, your net-of-tax contribution would differ very little.
Another benefit to the taxpayer: not as much of your money will go to our inept government.
I recommend you help us take matters into our own hands when it comes to school choice. Donate to Educate New Mexico. Let’s go around our inept government and make it happen!