Independent school districts indeed.


Listen To You Tell Me Texas Friday 5/20/16


The Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy is a research institute and lobby group based at the UCLA School of Law. They released a report based on Gallup Poll data from 2012 saying that 0.3 percent of the adult population in the United States identifies as transgender.

It’s a vanishingly small number to have stirred up such a political tempest. Three tenths of one percent means that out of 320 million people living in the United States, 96,000 of them identify as transgender. One good-sized football stadium’s worth spread out across a continent.

In practical terms, it means that any given school principal will either never be confronted with an issue involving a transgender-identifying student or will be so confronted only very rarely.

One would like to believe that if an issue involving a transgender student were to arise in some particular school somewhere, the principal, the local community and the school board could figure out what to do about it without any involvement from the federal government.

Yet the Obama administration – perhaps the most statist administration in our history – has just issued a diktat on school restrooms that affects very nearly every public school in very nearly every city, town and neighborhood in the country.

So how is it that the federal government is micromanaging local schools right down to to the restrooms? The answer is, because the federal government sends money to most local school districts. And there is no such thing as a federal dollar without federal strings.

Trace it back to Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society and the Elementary & Secondary Education Act of 1965. That law brought about the most sweeping federal involvement in local school districts in U.S. history.

In 1980, Congress gave us the Department of Education.

By 1981, public education was such a convoluted mess that Congress passed the Education Consolidation & Improvement Act.

Nothing got better so in 1994 we got the Improving America’s Schools Act.

By 2001, America’s public schools were so demonstrably unimproved that we got the now largely discredited No Child Left Behind Act.

Fifteen years later, millions of children are being left behind, reading and math scores are not improving, dropout rates are appalling and many school campuses can only be described as war zones.

Meanwhile public school districts – including the ones here in Texas that doggedly persist in calling themselves “independent” – are in fact hooked on federal money.

In much the same way that a drug dealer exerts de facto control over his addicted customers, the federal government exerts de facto control over the school your child attends.

If that control was producing outstanding results, it would be one thing. But the results are horrendous. And the more the federal government does, the worse things get.

Yet the Department of Education now weighs in on school restrooms with a straight face. As if that’s the pressing matter.

I’ve said it before. Show me one example of the federal government making things better.

Show me just one.

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Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of ATW Media, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The TEAM FM in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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9 Responses

  1. Linda E Montrose says:

    The federal government has stuck it’s nose in too much of what it doesn’t need to be sticking it’s nose in and it shows. It has become a jack of all trades and a master of none. There is not one…NOT ONE thing the federal government can do well. Well, I take that back. The one thing it can do well is take money we DO NOT HAVE and throw it at projects that are infinite holes with no way of repairing them.

    This administration is very good at throwing money down a rat hole, but it has a purpose in an Alice in wonderland sort of way. The more it confuses people and makes them accept things that are far out and unnatural, the more the liberal agenda has been achieved to dumb down society to where it can be “managed”. Sit down and think about that.

  2. Ken Reynolds says:

    Many school administrators argue they need the Federal money in order to meet the mandates. If they don’t take the Federal money, then there ARE NO MANDATES.

  3. Stan Drake says:

    All I’ve heard for at least the last 3 decades from teachers and administrators is how much money they don’t have. I’m sick of public schools and whiney teachers. 75% of the teachers across the nation belong to one of the two teachers unions, AND 90% of the political contributions go to liberal candidates. THAT and the fact that we can’t hold bad teachers accountable is what is wrong. It is time teachers stand up for the kids for a change, and stop whining. They are in line with the average income of other working Americans and have better benefits and more time off than most anyone else that works for a living. The manage to build multi million dollar football stadiums, the latest of which is outside Dallas to the tune of $63 million. I didn’t send my kids to school to play football or other sports even though they did, BUT they had to keep their grades up first and foremost. Of my 4 kids, there are 5 degrees in majors that actually provided them a good income and didn’t have a penny of college debt because they WORKED their way through school. Read a book called “The Smartest Kids in The World: And, how they got that way”. It will clear up questions you may have about why the United States is 39th in math, reading and science in developed countries in the world. THAT is sickening, and pouring more money at a failed system won’t fix it. Tell the federal government to go pound sand, and take our schools back in Texas.

  4. Stan: 39th in math, reading, and science is just the beginning.
    The USA trails other developed nations in any number of other yardsticks,especially health and fitness.
    Wanna make a buck? Invest in diabetes!
    POTATO CHIPS have chipped-away at this notion of “American Exceptionalism” so many cling to.

    • Paul Gleiser says:

      Yes, the numbers are grim. But they weren’t always so. During our lifetimes, public education in the United States was the envy of the world. But then came the 1960s, and Lyndon Johnson, a president vastly more liberal than his predecessor though they were from the same party. (It’s hard for people who weren’t alive then to fathom the guy from Texas being more liberal than the guy from Massachusetts.) The tragedy that led to Johnson assuming office, together with his formidable skills honed on Capitol Hill, made it possible for him to get the Congress and the American people to give him whatever he wanted. Thus, as my piece states, we get the federal government diving deeply into local school governance. This, together with forced busing — the absolute worst possible solution to school segregation — started American public schools on their long slide into their current ignominious state. Lefties look at public schools and call for more federal money. What’s needed to save American schools is less federal money, which is the only viable path to more local control and accountability.

      • There just isn’t anything we can’t blame on the government.
        Now POTATO CHIPS are Uncle Sam’s fault?
        So much for the “personal responsibility” we hear radio talkers preach.
        If common sense about things like healthy diet is too-hot-to-handle for public schools, where’s parental responsibility?

        • Paul Gleiser says:

          Potato chips is a non-sequitur canard and attempt at distraction from the central point of the piece — that point being – AGAIN AND SLOWLY THIS TIME, as federal involvement in public schools has increased, the results obtained in those schools have plummeted.

  5. If parents get-a-pass on feeding their kids responsibly, would the dang guv’munt be to blame if parents put-down-the-TV-remote long-enough to at least see that kiddos get public school homework done?

  6. Hunter Hutto says:

    This is just one of many reasons we (and many others) have chosen to home-school our children. We believe they are receiving a much higher quality education, as well a more personalized learning experience since we are able to tailor the lessons to meet our children individual learning needs. A sad aspect of this is we are still required to pay tribute to a system we firmly believe is faulted or face stiff reprisals if we do not. Governor Rick Perry once stated that “Every child has a right to a public education, but public education does not have a right to every child”. We are very thankful to live in a state that recognizes this basic freedom much more than other states.

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