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Archive for March 19th, 2009

Excuse me for a moment while I wipe the foam from my face. I am so angry with Palin right now I can hardly think straight.

Governor Palin has decided to reject more than 30% of the stimulus money offered to Alaska. This includes $160 million for education, “$17 million in Department of Labor funds (vocational rehabilitation services, unemployment services, etc.), about $9 million for Health and Social Services and about $7 million for Public Safety.” Now, I realize that Palin doesn’t value education. We know this by looking at her track record.

Exhibit A.

Her own college education is suspect, to be sure. From Wikipedia:

After graduating from high school in 1982, she enrolled at Hawaii Pacific College in Honolulu. She left after one semester and transferred to North Idaho College, a community college in Coeur d’Alene, where she spent two semesters as a general studies major in 1983. In 1984, Palin won the Miss Wasilla Pageant, then finished third in the 1984 Miss Alaska pageant.

In August 1984, she transferred to the University of Idaho in Moscow, where her older brother, Charles W. Heath, was majoring in education. After two semesters at UI, Palin returned to Alaska and attended Matanuska-Susitna College, a community college in Palmer, for one term in the fall of 1985. She returned to the University of Idaho in January 1986, where she spent three semesters completing her bachelor’s degree in communications-journalism, graduating in May 1987.

That’s four different schools in five years. Five schools if you count University of Idaho twice, since she returned there a second time.

Exhibit B.

Her daughter, Bristol, did not finish high school. We all know how that one turned out.


Exhibit C.

Her other daughter, Piper, spent much of the fall of 2008 on the campaign trail instead of in school where she belonged. You know, Palin reminds me of the parents we sometimes encounter at my school. You know them, the ones who send their kids to school late and then pick them up early. The ones who send their children in heels in the dead of winter.

s-piper-palin-heels-large

Remember when Piper was toting around Trig in two-inch heels during a Today Show interview?

When asked about being on the trail, Piper stated that she missed “a lot of school” and “it was really hard to make up” for being gone. It sure is a good thing her mom is putting her kids first.

It turns out that the stimulus money rejected by Governor Palin was for Title I schools and Special Education students. Carol Comeau, Superintendent of the Anchorage School District wrote a letter immediately addressing the Governor’s decision. Here is the news release in its entirety.

Superintendent Comeau responds to Governor Palin’s rejection of education stimulus funds

Superintendent Carol Comeau issued the following statement about Governor Sarah Palin’s intention to reject $160 million in stimulus funds for education. Included in the governor’s proposal is the refusal of $12.9 million for Title I programs and $12.9 million for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and special education programs for the Anchorage School District.

“We’re shocked and very disappointed that the governor said she would reject the education stimulus money for Title I and IDEA programs. We believe that we can make very good use of the funds, not only in job preservation but also in adding new positions to ultimately use these funds to increase student achievement for our neediest children.

“Earlier this week, I met with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to discuss various ways to use the funding to advance education among students, as the secretary and the president intended.

“One of the opportunities the Anchorage School Board, my administration and I have discussed is to add more preschool programs in Title I schools. Many of the children in neighborhoods served by these schools are not prepared to enter kindergarten. Title I schools have a large number of students who qualify for free and reduced price lunch, have high mobility rates, and are English language learners. Additional programs and support at these schools have proven to make a difference for our students in helping them be ready to enter kindergarten. Stimulus funds could also be used to extend learning time for students who need additional academic assistance.

“Additional stimulus funds designated for IDEA and special education give us a rare opportunity to use an increased amount of money for professional development to assist our classroom educators to better work with students with disabilities. It would also allow us to increase opportunities to use best practices within our Special Education department.

“If we were to implement additional programs with the stimulus funds offered by President Obama, and the funds were to diminish a few years from now, we would be prepared to redistribute General Fund money or other federal funds to keep programs that have proven to be effective.

“ASD would absolutely be transparent and accountable for federal school stimulus funds. We intend to actively engage the public to develop a plan to best use those funds.

“We urge the legislature to engage both the district and the community in a dialogue regarding these stimulus funds very quickly, as the decision on whether to accept the funds is two weeks away, April 3. We hope the legislature is willing to recognize the importance of this money and will take swift action.”

Superintendent Comeau plans to address the governor’s proposal with the Anchorage Caucus, comprised of all Anchorage-area legislators, at its regularly scheduled meeting at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 21 at the Loussac Library.

I’m glad to see that Superintendent Comeau is on the ball. It’s too bad we can’t trust our Governor to do what’s best for our children. I guess I should not be surprised. I mean after all, it’s not like she does what’s best for her own children. Why should we expect anything different when it comes to the rest of them?

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