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home : opinions : editorials February 05, 2016


3/7/2013 9:59:00 PM
Editorial: Flouting education policy could cost us
The Daily Courier


A bill that advanced out of the Arizona House on Thursday would allow dozens of public schools to throw out federal education policy regulating academic standards, teacher evaluation requirements and student tracking systems.

The idea is that some schools and districts do not receive federal money. They, in turn, should have to follow only health, safety, civil rights and insurance mandates.

Republican Rep. Eddie Farnsworth said his bill promotes school sovereignty. "It simply says, 'Yes, we as a state have a right to decide what we are going to do on education,'" he said.

Critics worry that if the measure becomes law, it would result in a significant hit to Arizona's education budget. Federal education funding is generally linked to compliance. "When we exempt these few schools from complying with federal regulations, all of our schools in the state are at risk for losing federal funding," Democratic Rep. Eric Meyer said.

Farnsworth countered, according to the Associated Press, that Arizona lawmakers need to support good policy over federal threats. He said federal education funding and regulations are unconstitutional.

Who do you believe?

While many politicians are lawyers, we wonder how solid Farnsworth's statements are; however, we like the concepts of logic and sovereignty.

In the end, it comes down to a play on words. "It's a bit of a red herring when we ask people whether something is possible or not," Republican Rep. Justin Pierce said. "Anything that is not impossible is possible."

And vice versa. Proceed with caution.


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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, March 10, 2013
Article comment by: @ dumbest comment EVER !!

Yes! Good idea. stop training Zionist and Saudi facists. Pull the plug on the incompetents. Remove the military bases. A permanent standing military that loses trillion dollar wars for over 70 yrs is clearly a failure.

Posted: Saturday, March 09, 2013
Article comment by: Tom Bowden

"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert,in five years there’d be a shortage of sand.” Milton Friedman


Posted: Saturday, March 09, 2013
Article comment by: dumbest comment EVER !!

"Federal Eveything is a joke"

That was well thought out...NOT. Lets see. ALL AZ can do is complain about the border issues.. no facts to go on.. Cover and police our own borders...
Build and fix our own highways.
Pay for our own jails and prison system.
Really pay for our own schools and our own mandates. Eliminate all the military bases from the state and resluting income.
Actually pay for the old .. in the state and their health care costs.
And the list goes on and on and on. You are not prepared to pay the costs. I'm pretty sure of that.



Posted: Saturday, March 09, 2013
Article comment by: @ronald raygun

Your lack of education clearly shows, as do your .. comments. At least learn to spell. No one takes your remarks seriously, as they lack any common sense.

Posted: Saturday, March 09, 2013
Article comment by: worst funding in the country!!! !!

I know this will come to a shock to you but this state has a horrible funding formula for schools. The legislature has promised funding and then taken it away (not let the people know), and systematically starved the education system. Today federal monies are required to meet any kind of efforts to just cover costs. Did you know:
1. all preschool children with handicapping conditions need to be identified and serviced. Costs money.
2. There is a heavy duty curriculum for Kindergarten. Which was reduced to half a day. WOW thanks.
3. All Special Education students are UNDERFUNDED by the state. OK. So go and eliminate the requirement if you are not going to fund it.
4. What is going to happen with the education short fall from the 1 cent tax. We are allready at the bottom.
5. This sytem is in a starvation mode. Barely functioning and you are asking the body to walk a hundred miles.

Yeah I know.. get better at the job. Those words are said by the truly ignorant looking through 60 year old lenses that do not apply any more.

The feds didn't do this::::

Today... The state has created mandates and underfunded them. Move up when reading..... Note to legislature..... All those reading coaches positions are gone. Classes have swelled due to under funding and cut backs. You can mandate all you want..That is just one example.

This has become a user state. I got mine but I'm not willing to pay for anyone else.





Posted: Saturday, March 09, 2013
Article comment by: Attentive Listener

@Basic Truth- And state government does? I happen to think public education is a good thing. I think it's tragic that while we are debating whether or not the Bible should be a textbook, the rest of the world is teaching calculus and engineering to 10th graders. But hey, none of our kids will ever need jobs anyway, right? As long as they come through with their faith intact.

Posted: Friday, March 08, 2013
Article comment by: Hooty Hoo

It's true that the Feds provide very little funding toward Arizona education. And what they do participate is they do a horrible job of. The classic was Dubya's "No Child Left Behind" act. It was basically a classic unfunded mandate that didn't accomplish anything for the vast majority of school districts. Obama's trying the same stuff. The Feds should just stay out of state education. They just spend money and screw everything up.

Posted: Friday, March 08, 2013
Article comment by: Federal anything is a joke.

Where does the federal money come from? The people in the states paying taxes. Right!
Why give tax money to the feds and then the feds give it back to the states after they spend most of it on nonsense.

Since when did the feds think they know more than anyone else? What a joke! The feds can't even run the government properly. Why would anyone think the feds can run a decent school? Evidence shows that the feds are failures at what ever they touch.

I say do not give any money to the feds. Keep it here in AZ. We in AZ will do a much better job then the federal government could ever hope to do and for less money.


Posted: Friday, March 08, 2013
Article comment by: Basic Truth

Read the Constitution. The Federal Government has no role in education.

Posted: Friday, March 08, 2013
Article comment by: Cordes Coyote

Sounds to me like a ploy to sieze control of the education system, mostly likely motivated by a desire to make the system politically correct (in the right-wing sense) and perhaps profit from it. You know, first eliminate federal oversight and then take the science out of science classes and the history out of history classes. Teach the kids that the world was created 4000 years ago and that the poor Confederate states were just trying to protect their rights against the tyrannical federal government in the North. Then maybe have a go at farming the state's education system out to private contractors, like the prisons- heck, maybe even the same contractors.

I don't think it's going to happen though. It's another extremist pipe dream that would do nothing but cost untold taxpayer dollars in legal fees even if it did pass. As the editorial points out, most politicians are lawyers. Hmmm.


Posted: Friday, March 08, 2013
Article comment by: ronald raygun

We don't need no fancy book learnin in schools. Woot murica man. What we need is more guns.

Posted: Friday, March 08, 2013
Article comment by: Cordes Coyote

Sounds to me like a ploy to sieze control of the education system, mostly likely motivated by a desire to make the system politically correct (in the right-wing sense) and perhaps profit from it. You know, first eliminate federal oversight and then take the science out of science classes and the history out of history classes. Teach the kids that the world was created 4000 years ago and that the poor Confederate states were just trying to protect their rights against the tyrannical federal government in the North. Then maybe have a go at farming the state's education system out to private contractors, like the prisons- heck, maybe even the same contractors.

I don't think it's going to happen though. It's another extremist pipe dream that would do nothing but cost untold taxpayer dollars in legal fees even if it did pass. As the editorial points out, most politicians are lawyers. Hmmm.


Posted: Friday, March 08, 2013
Article comment by: Steven Ayres

It's no surprise that the editor would be skeptical about this bill, but the logical route here makes me wonder. "We like the concepts of logic and sovereignty," he writes, but he does not attempt to logically parse what "school sovereignty" is supposed to mean.

It means nothing, of course. What Rep. Farnsworth, both a smart lawyer and dedicated religious ideologue, is doing is ramping up the idea of "local control of curriculum" into something that sounds like a constitutional issue. It's simply misleading rhetoric in another attempt at an end run around the prohibition on public funding for religious education.

If the bill passes it won't survive court scrutiny, and given the Governor's recent dawning awareness about the linkage between state policy and federal money, I wouldn't be surprised to see a veto, once again forcing her into an embarrassing and politically costly conflict with the legislative leadership of her own party.

This sort of waste-of-everybody's-time legislation is the inevitable consequence of supporting a single-party government.


Posted: Friday, March 08, 2013
Article comment by: Tom Steele

The federal government has placed funded and unfunded mandates on our schools. These mandates require extra spending and management without providing any additional education. There is no provision in the constitution for education as it is a function of local school boards. Those boards now are handicapped by a network of federal mandates, many with a threat of loss of funds for violations. I see no opportunity to escape this mess until a constitutional conservative president is in place in Washington.

Posted: Friday, March 08, 2013
Article comment by: Really Let's See !

Believe the lawyer ? Not ! This may put the school districts into a position that allows them to receive more state taxes and may even raise the sales and property taxes of the state to fund poorly managed schools.

Posted: Friday, March 08, 2013
Article comment by: Do states actually have rights, similar to individuals?

Or does state government act under the concept of privilege granted to it by the individual?



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