[Ed. Note: This comes to us from Marisol Ramirez of Unite-HERE, via Asmb. Sharon Quirk-Silva. It’s not clear where it originated. It has been slightly reformatted. If I’d have said four months ago that this is what Republicans would do if they controlled the whole government, I’d have been accused of fear-mongering. Yet here we are. – GAD UPDATE: Welcome to our thousands of readers sent here through Google! For more national, California, and specifically Orange County news and analysis, click on our home page link!]
This is not a drill.
And so it begins – The Betsy Devos Era of Education
House Bill 610 makes some large changes. Inform yourselves.
This bill will effectively start the school voucher system to be used by children ages 5-17, and starts the defunding process of public schools.
In addition the bill will eliminate the Elementary and Education Act of 1965, which is the nation’s educational law and provides equal opportunity in education.
It would repeal ESSA (Every Students Succeeds Act):
ESSA is a big comprehensive program that covers programs for struggling learners, AP classes, ESL classes, classes for minorities such as Native Americans, Rural Education, Education for the Homeless, School Safety (Gun-Free schools), Monitoring and Compliance and Federal Accountability Programs.
The Bill also abolishes the Nutritional Act of 2012 (No Hungry Kids Act) which provides nutritional standards in school breakfast and lunch.
The bill has no wording whatsoever protecting Special Needs kids, no mention of IDEA and FAPE.
Some things ESSA does for Children with Disabilities
- Ensures access to the general education curriculum.
- Ensures access to accommodations on assessments.
- Ensures concepts of Universal Design for Learning
- Includes provisions that require local education agencies to provide evidence-based interventions in schools with consistently underperforming subgroups.
- Requires states in Title I plans to address how they will improve conditions for learning including reducing incidents of bullying and harassment in schools, overuse of discipline practices and reduce the use of aversive behavioral interventions (such as restraints and seclusion).
Please call your representative and ask him/her to vote NO on House Bill 610 (HR 610) introduced by three Republican reps.
For more background on Secretary Devos and how this is not exactly coming out of nowhere, here’s a good article from two months ago. It is hard to imagine that this all could be in one piece of legislation. So check it out for yourself.