Update 1/23/16: This resolution and amendment passed overwhelmingly in the Utah county GOP Central Committee meeting. Only 3 nays to about 225 yeas. I have modified the text below so it only contains the amended version of the resolution which passed. We also have a legislator working on drafting this move as legislation, and another legislator working on the request for an audit.
If you are unaware of the most recent moves by the federal government to solidify its takeover of education in America and its intrusion into family lives, please review these articles which only deal with the recent passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act.
(Drafted by Jennifer Huefner, Pam Budge, Wendy Hart, Kristen Chevrier, JaKell Sullivan, Christel Swasey, Kirby Glad, and Oak Norton)
Resolution to Remove Utah From Federal Education Control
WHEREAS, After decades of growing federal intrusion into our state education system, President Obama has signed into law The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) which gives the federal government even more sweeping power over state education (1), regulates education in private schools (2) and implements policies and programs reaching into the home (3); and,
WHEREAS our platform states that “Parents have the right to choose whether a child is educated in private, public or home schools and government should not infringe on that right… We favor local accountability and control in all aspects of the education system.”; and,
WHEREAS federal taxpayers provide only a small fraction of our total education budget (4), but by accepting that sum we give the federal government 100% control over the education of our children; and,
WHEREAS, the Governor has announced that Utah now has new ongoing revenue, due to state growth of $380 million (5), more than enough to replace federal funds and regain control over the education of our children; and,
WHEREAS, the only way to avoid the overbearing requirements of ESSA is to opt out of federal funds. (6)
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Utah County Republican Party declares that we cannot continue to stand by while our educational freedoms are usurped, and this increasing federal intrusion must end now; and,
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT Utah is not beholden to federal mandates on education as that is not in the constitutional purview of the federal government, and as such this resolution asks that the legislature and state school board nullify all federal education mandates; and,
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT Utah should withhold money that would be sent to the federal government in an amount equal to the sum they return to us each year for education and use those funds for K-12 education in this state, drop or nullify all federal education mandates, and fully fund Utah’s education programs; and,
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT if Utah is not able to make use of the previous clause, Utah should use its ongoing budget surplus to replace all federal taxpayer money in education, freeing Utah from federal intrusion; and,
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT Utah County GOP leadership shall provide information on this issue to public officials and voters, as may be appropriate through email, website, and physical distribution, and request a comprehensive legislative audit of federal programs including but not limited to those put into place through the 2009 Stimulus Package including data systems (7), alignment to federal regulations, statues, and grants, with the intent for determining how Utah can make a full and complete separation from federal education policies so that Utah schools can truly be freed from federal intrusion; and,
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Utah County Republican Party commends Representatives Chaffetz, Bishop, Stewart, and Love, and Senator Lee, who voted against this invasive law, and we call upon all state legislators and officers to act now to stand for our state’s rights in education.
|Oak Norton, HI 07|
Katrina Kennedy, AL 5
Mark Cluff, AL 4
Kirby Glad, OR 24
Michael Wirrick, PG 8
Kristen Chevrier, HI 9
Robin Devey, OR 28
|Brian Halladay, PG 09|
John Morris, LE 11
Jared Oldroyd, PR 11
Nels Beckstrand, AF 05
Loma Lee McKinnon, SR 02
Mark Barlow, AF 13
|Troy Lynn, HI 7|
Robert Capel, AL 03
Maureen LaPray, PR 38
Tamara Atkin, Payson 06
Nathan Allred, Payson 01
Lynda Roper, PR 25
Supported by: Senators Margaret Dayton, Al Jackson, David Hinkins, Mark Madsen; Representatives Brad Daw, Mike Kennedy, Jake Anderegg, Brian Greene, David Lifferth, Norm Thurston, Marc Roberts, Kay Christofferson
(1) Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) (https://www.congress.gov/114/bills/s1177/BILLS-114s1177enr.pdf):
The secretary maintains control over state education plans (P4b, pg. 306)
The secretary shall ‘‘(vi) have the authority to disapprove a State plan.” (P4b, pg.21)
(2) ‘‘(B) OMBUDSMAN.—To help ensure such equity for such private school children, teachers, and other educational personnel, the State educational agency involved shall designate an ombudsman to monitor and enforce the requirements of this part.’’ (pg. 71)
(3) Dept. of HHS/USDOEd Draft Policy Implementation Statement on Family Engagement:
“Implement[s] a vision for family engagement that begins prenatally and continues across settings and throughout a child’s developmental and educational experiences” (Page 5)
See “parenting interventions” (IBID pg. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16)
ESSA allows states to use funds to “support programs that reach parents and family members at home [and] in the community.” (https://www.congress.gov/114/bills/s1177/BILLS-114s1177enr.pdf, Pg. 69)
States shall “become active participants in the development, implementation, and review of school-parent compacts, family engagement in education policies, and school planning and improvement;” (IBID, pg. 218)
Provides grants to turn elementary and secondary schools into “Full-Service Community Schools” with “Pipeline Services” that provide “a continuum of coordinated supports, services, and opportunities for children from birth through… career attainment”, including family health services. (IBID pg. 222, 223, 229)
2013-14 is an inaccurate estimate. USOE’s document has a typo on gross revenue showing $1.3B more than expenses. This estimated revenue figure is in line with expenses which are assumed to be accurate as they are in line with the trend. We have 5 straight years of declining federal funds but no declining federal requirements. Unfunded mandates rule our state education system.
(6) ESSA, SEC. 8530A. PROHIBITION ON REQUIRING STATE PARTICIPATION
Here are my comments from presenting this resolution to the Central Committee.
In 2012 Senator Margaret Dayton invited me to a meeting with Lieutenant Governor Bell to explain what was going on with common core and the agenda behind it. What came out of that meeting was I was asked to draft a bill to protect to Utah from federal encroachment. SB 287 passed and contained several triggers that if any of them were to occur we would exit the agreements.
A couple years ago, Governor Herbert was on the Blaze dismissing concerns about Common Core and referenced this bill: (http://www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/herbert-on-the-blaze/)
Said he: “We have a law that says if any of this federal overreach somehow gets into our [education] system, we are mandated to get out of it.”
Governor Herbert, it’s time.
Here are the federal education triggers now in Utah law. (http://le.utah.gov/~2012/bills/static/SB0287.html)
53 (6) The state may exit any agreement, contract, memorandum of understanding, or
54 consortium that cedes control of Utah’s core curriculum standards to any other entity, including
55 a federal agency or consortium, for any reason, including:
56 (a) the cost of developing or implementing core curriculum standards;
57 (b) the proposed core curriculum standards are inconsistent with community values; or
58 (c) the agreement, contract, memorandum of understanding, or consortium:
59 (i) was entered into in violation of Part 9, Implementing Federal Programs Act, or Title
60 63J, Chapter 5, Federal Funds Procedures Act;
61 (ii) conflicts with Utah law;
62 (iii) requires Utah student data to be included in a national or multi-state database;
63 (iv) requires records of teacher performance to be included in a national or multi-state
64 database; or
65 (v) imposes curriculum, assessment, or data tracking requirements on home school or
66 private school students.
The triggers have been pulled. One state has to start the ball rolling. My vote is we do it here in Utah and lead the nation in reclaiming our freedom and breaking these federal chains of bondage. If not us, if not now, then who, and when?
We do not eliminate one dime of education funding. It simply stops Utah from sending it to the feds and having it returned with strings. We just keep it here, or we self-fund.