We’re all in trouble when I start a sentence with, “… and reasonable people in Congress will find a way get this done…” and the room explodes with laughter.
Because we’re in this mess for lack of a sufficient number of reasonable people. When this soap opera began, there was a standoff between Democrats and Republicans in Congress over how to balance the budget, and with the clock ticking, if they didn’t get agreement it would mean (again) the shutdown of the Federal government.
Since neither side actually wanted to see that happen with an election coming up, they agreed to put it all off until now. They said things would be different because they agreed to come back … with axes.
The deal with the devil was that if they couldn’t agree on how to balance the budget, all the Bush tax cuts – some of which helped the middle class and some of which helped the rich – would expire (as the law requires unless they are extended) AND practically everything in the national budget would be chopped by 10%.
They would just start swinging axes blindfolded at everything from funding for hurricane emergencies to after-school programs for poor kids. Chop!
Join hosts Donna Schwartz Mills (MOMocrats) and Cynthia Liu (K-12 News Network) as they talk with experts on education and try to switch gears from presidential politics to the lame duck session of Congress. What’s the “fiscal showdown,” and what will it mean for federal education dollars beginning January, 2013? Who’ll feel the proposed cuts and what can we do to prevent them?
Our three experts are National Education Association VP Lily Eskelsen, the NEA’s Director of Governmental Relations Mary Kusler, and a third guest, instructional paraprofessional Mike Hoffman, who works with special ed children in Delaware schools.
Listen in and participate!
I was not neutral in this race. I see the re-election of President Obama as an important way forward for our students, preschool to graduate school. But the election is not the end. It’s the beginning of some very hard work.
First, we must pass the Dream Act. We must show compassion for the undocumented children who were brought here; who were educated here; who have stayed out of trouble and only want to work and study and be accepted in the only country many of them have ever known.
The issues of comprehensive immigration reforms are complicated. But I’m a teacher, and for me one thing is very simple: You never punish children for things beyond their control. The President did a very important thing in approving a change in visa regulations to allow a temporary safe harbor for the young “Dreamers” who would have qualified under the Dream Act, had Congress acted. But it is temporary. Congress must pass the Dream Act as part of comprehensive immigration reform.
Next, Congress must see the importance of Head Start as an equalizing factor for poor little boys and girls coming to kindergarten prepared to advance, hand in hand with their more advantaged friends. (more…)
In case you missed it, Lily was featured in an education related piece on the national Univision Network. (So was Jeb Bush, but he is not a teacher).
Check out the video and some behind the scenes photos: (more…)