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NEA: Show Us the Money

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MM has assigned me the task of making sense of the National Education Association's new "Great Public Schools for Every Student by 2020." I read two pieces of NEA's six-point plan, and I saw dollar signs jumping off the page.

The NEA wants Congress to guarantee full funding for NCLB's Title I and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. (In federal budget terms, that would make those programs entitlements, meaning they wouldn't be subjected to the cap on discretionary spending.) That would more than double the $26 billion currently spent on those programs.

The new federal money would be small change compared to what the NEA wants to get from states. The union is proposing that federal law require each state to write a "adequacy and equity" plan. The document would detail the inequities in their school systems and explain what the state would do to fix them. They'd also become Exhibit A for any lawyer suing a state for failing to adequately finance its schools.

As my colleague Vaishali Honawar points out, NEA's proposal isn't surprising. After all, wouldn't you expect the union to ask for more money and the other elements of their plan (promoting teaching as a profession, improving accountability, investing in education research, and basing reforms on proven strategies)?

But the amount of money that could go to schools if this plan is enacted could be staggering.

1 Comment

"The union is proposing that federal law require each state to write a "adequacy and equity" plan. The document would detail the inequities in their school systems and explain what the state would do to fix them."
You have got to be kidding me! Regardless what the federal government hands down to SEAs, Georgia's constitution specifically sanctions LBOEs to do whatever they deem necessary....it is the concept of local flexibility. Also, Georgia does not have unions to ensure the teachers are receiving their fair share of anything, not even opportunities for advancement.
As long as MONEY is the motivation and primary resource to change the dismal education outcome of the two targeted populations, it is reasonable to conclude the status quo will remain in tact.
Administrators will simply create more specific jobs to oversee the overseers. After all, it will be about accountability for the funding, NOT the education or lack of it.

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