Why I Oppose the ESEA HR 5 – Student Success Act

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WHY I OPPOSE THE HOUSE ESEA HR5 – Student Success Act!    

by Linda Bell
The House ESEA bill (HR5) is being voted on this morning.  This landmark bill was reintroduced, marked up and passed without public hearing, all within two weeks. Since that time, numerous bloggers have spent hours reading the bill and those analyses have been shared over and over. What is most egregious about HR 5 for me personally? The removal of states rights and authorities and parental rights.

I am going to quote two specific paragraphs from HR5 Section 6561 for you below. First note that paragraph (a) states, in a convoluted way, that states rights and parental rights have already been removed. HR 5 is purported to bring back those rights under “local control”! The first paragraph is music to my ears!
But then we go over to the 2nd paragraph (b-Amendment). Here is the true intent of this entire bill! If your state takes federal grant funds emanating from this ESEA re-write, states will “Waive their States Rights and Authorities”. In one fell swoop, we loose our states rights and along with that, a deeper loss of parental rights.   Local control is out the door and the feds are in charge of your schools, children and families.

Today is the House vote and it looks to be along party lines. Republicans (and a few Democrats) are shooting themselves in the foot as they push to centralize education in America. Most haven’t read the bills and lean on advisers. When I called my US Representative in Congressional District 3 and read portions of the bill over the phone to a staffer, they were frankly shocked. Did it make a difference? Is the US House listening to their constituents? There are many reasons to oppose this bill which includes what is about to happen to private schools and religious freedom. I hope this will help you understand why I (and our many members in MACC) are opposed to HR 5.

HR5 – The Student Success Act
Subpart 4—Restoration of State Sovereignty Over Public Education and Parental Rights Over the Education of Their Children

‘‘SEC. 6561. STATES TO RETAIN RIGHTS AND AUTHORITIES
THEY DO NOT EXPRESSLY WAIVE.
‘‘(a) RETENTION OF RIGHTS AND AUTHORITIES.— No officer, employee, or other authority of the Secretary shall enforce against an authority of a State, nor shall any authority of a State have any obligation to obey, any requirement imposed as a condition of receiving assistance under a grant program established under this Act, nor shall such program operate within a State, unless the legislature of that State shall have by law expressly approved that program and, in doing so, HAVE waived the State’s rights and authorities to act inconsistently with any requirement that might be imposed by the Secretary as a condition of receiving that assistance.” (Emphasis added)

“(b) AMENDMENT OF TERMS OF RECEIPT OF FEDERAL FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
An officer, employee, or other authority of the Secretary may release assistance under a grant program established under this Act to a State only after the legislature of the State has by law expressly approved the program (as described in sub- section (a)). This approval may be accomplished by a vote to affirm a State budget that includes the use of such Federal funds and any such State budget must expressly include any requirement imposed as a condition of receiving assistance under a grant program established under this Act so that by approving the budget, the State legislature is expressly approving the grant program and, in doing so, waiving the State’s rights and authorities to act inconsistently with any requirement that might be imposed by the Secretary as a condition of receiving that assistance.”

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