Many people in America are unhappy with the direction that public education has taken over the last two decades. As one of these Americans, I knew that education would take a nose dive with the appointment of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education earlier this year.
I did not, however, think that the first education bill under President Agent Orange would be this insidious.
First introduced in late January by Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa, House Bill 610, tentatively titled “Choices in Education Act of 2017,” comes straight out of a Ronald Reagan dream world. In short, it effectively begins the process of defunding public schools completely.
To start, the bill repeals the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, the most far-reaching education act ever passed by Congress. ESEA funds primary and secondary schools and emphasizes equal access and opportunity among historically underrepresented and disadvantaged groups such as racial minorities and children with disabilities, among others.
The bill would also repeal a specific rule that establishes certain nutritional requirements for school breakfast and lunch. This ignores the simple fact that hungry kids cannot learn. Taking basic nutritional requirements out of school breakfast and lunch does little for their overall well-being, much less to create a better school environment.