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H.R. 471 the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Act (SOAR)

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Lugus
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« on: April 01, 2012, 09:36:56 am »

Reality is rough. 
Those who insist on ignoring reality go through life not understanding why things never work out quite as well as they had hoped.
 
It is often easier to go through life believing the platitudes, prejudices and preconceptions that we have been taught by those who either do not know any better and who have their own agendas. 

An optimist would say that most of these people want to do good; they just don’t know what they are doing.  To quote (now deceased) American Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis, “The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.”
http://thinkexist.com/quotes/louis_d._brandeis/2.html

For example, many – perhaps most – readers believe that those mean old conservative Republicans, Tea Party types and even Libertarians hate black people while the more liberal Democrats, Socialists and their ilk are working tirelessly for the disadvantaged – especially African-Americans.   

H.R. 471 is an excellent example that debunks this fantasy.     

H.R. 471 is the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Act (SOAR) that was introduced by Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH).  The bill would reauthorize the Washington, DC Opportunity Scholarship Program.

The purpose of this bill, as given by its name was “To reauthorize the DC opportunity scholarship program, and for other purposes.”  http://www.opencongress.org/bill/112-h471/show

Let’s take a look at the House members who voted for and against this bill.  This will no doubt come as a shock to many readers but, as we see, the bill was overwhelmingly supported by Republicans and opposed by Democrats.  The vote: Aye (1 D, 224 R), Nay (186 D, 9 R).  (And, for those who are interested, Ron Paul voted Nay.  His reasoning may have been because he believed that the bill was unconstitutional.)  The only democrat who voted Aye was Rep. Daniel Lipinski from Illinois.  Not one member of the Black Congressional Caucus voted for the bill!  I won’t bore the reader with additional details but this link gives the names of those who voted and how they voted.  http://www.govtrack.us/congress/vote.xpd?vote=h2011-204

OK – Now that we know a little bit about the bill, a reasonable question is, “Did this voucher program do any good?”  The answer is, of course, “Yes!”  http://educationnext.org/school-vouchers-in-dc-produce-gains-in-both-test-scores-and-graduation-rates/

But, you might also ask, “What about the parents and students who had the opportunity to participate in the program?”  What did they think of the voucher program?  Here are some of videos that show support for the program.   




But what about the cost?  Is this voucher program more expensive than public schools?  “The bill also establishes that $8,000 is the limit per student for attendance in kindergarten through 8th grad[e] and $12,000 per student for attendance in grades 9 through 12.”  http://www.votetocracy.com/blog/detail/h.r.471-scholarships-for-opportunity-and-results-act.html
Although the cost per student would not be more than $12,000, the actual cost of DC public schools per pupil was more than $28,000.  http://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/they-spend-what-real-cost-public-schools  Thus, the Washington, D.C. government could save millions of dollars each year by giving such vouchers to all students who attend public schools!
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Trent
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« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2012, 12:23:07 am »

Actually, the reason why it was opposed was because it doesn't protect students from discrimination.  What point is the bill if it doesn't even do that first?

H.R. 471, the DC School Choice Incentive Act, Fails to Protect Students from Discrimination


Advocacy Letter - 03/29/11

Source: The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Recipient: U.S. House of Representatives

Dear Representative:


On behalf of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States, we urge you to vote against the Scholarship for Opportunity and Results (SOAR) bill, H.R. 471. SOAR would reauthorize and expand the federally-funded private school voucher program in the District of Columbia, including provisions that exempt taxpayer-supported schools taxpayer-supported schools from federal civil rights laws. We strongly oppose any bill that strips students from these critical civil rights protections. The D.C. voucher program was created by the D.C. School Choice Incentive Act, which provided funding for a five-year pilot program offering private school vouchers to students in the District of Columbia. That legislation changed well-established law by permitting federal dollars to finance education programs without requiring any corresponding obligation that programs comply with federal anti-discrimination laws (Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; and the Age Discrimination Act).


Like the D.C. School Choice Incentive Act, H.R. 471 fails to ensure that D.C. students receive an equal educational opportunity in private schools subsidized by U.S. taxpayers. Although the bill includes a section prohibiting participating schools from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, or sex, the section falls far short of antidiscrimination requirements under federal law. It does not include disability as a protected basis for discrimination. The bill also does not specify that the types of discrimination it covers would be construed as broadly as the requirements of federal law and it does not afford a means for enforcing the nondiscrimination provision. By contrast, the federal nondiscrimination laws are enforced by the federal government and courts, and persons injured by discrimination are entitled to a complete remedy.


We strongly urge you to oppose the SOAR Act (H.R. 471) because it fails to provide District of Columbia children with the equal educational opportunity that they deserve. If you have any questions, please contact Fatima Goss Graves or Lara Kaufmann at the National Women’s Law Center at 202-588-5180.

 
Sincerely,


Wade Henderson
President & CEO

Nancy Zirkin
Executive Vice President

http://www.civilrights.org/advocacy/letters/2011/school-choice.html
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"That which does not kill us, makes us stronger."
Lugus
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« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2012, 07:59:51 pm »

Most of what the letter talks about is probably true.  H.R. 471 most likely does not offer civil rights protection.  However, that is likely true with all voucher programs. 

I doubt that Wade Henderson and Nancy Zirkin really have the best interests of the students at heart.  There is a little hint of their actual motives with the mention of the “Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.” 

As we see from the list of member organizations http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leadership_Conference_on_Civil_and_Human_Rights , most are supporters of the liberal/progressive agenda of the Democratic Party.  Perhaps the most telling member is the National Education Association http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Education_Association .

I hope that most readers realize that the NEA is strongly opposed to vouchers. 

These people do not really want to help the D.C. students.  Or, at least, the NEA has their priorities and the students are not at the top. 
 
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Luke Hodiak
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« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2012, 06:10:58 am »

Well, unless you have a mechanism for civil rights protection, schools can practice discrimination. Don't say it, I'm sure you think that discrimination doesn't exist anywhere anymore either.
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Lugus
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« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2012, 12:51:34 pm »

Well, unless you have a mechanism for civil rights protection, schools can practice discrimination. Don't say it, I'm sure you think that discrimination doesn't exist anywhere anymore either.

It is obvious that you do not understand why African-American parents are so eager to get their children out of D.C. schools.

After all, why should they want to leave the wonderful (LOL) learning environment that defines D.C. schools?  What – you are not laughing?  I can understand your feelings.  It is sad – very sad.  Is there anyone who believes that the D.C. schools are good for students?
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/09/AR2007060901415.html
It is very sad indeed.

Oh yes – but as you say, these public school students have their civil rights.

If you are opposed to school vouchers because the students lose their civil rights, then you are opposed to private schools.  Using your logic, any parent who sends his or her child to a private school must be either uncaring or uninformed.

But, of course, parents send their children to private schools for the same reason that these D.C. parents wanted vouchers for private schools.  They want what is best for their children. 

And you must realize that many of our public/elected officials send their children to private schools.

A little aside –
Just to let the reader know, I realize that some D.C. public schools are much better than others.  http://www.schooldigger.com/go/DC/schoolrank.aspx?pagetype=top10

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Luke Hodiak
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« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2012, 03:34:37 pm »

Quote
It is obvious that you do not understand why African-American parents are so eager to get their children out of D.C. schools.

After all, why should they want to leave the wonderful (LOL) learning environment that defines D.C. schools?  What – you are not laughing?  I can understand your feelings.  It is sad – very sad.


I find it a bit sad that you have to use sarcasm to make your point, when you could make your point better simply by speaking plainly. The facts are pretty much these:

In the first place, civil rights are important and discrimination is very much alive these days. You're probably a white male so you probably don't have much experience or sympathy for that. I am sure that the black members of this forum could let you know something about their experiences.

Second, vouchers, thanks for bringing them up. The more money that goes to vouchers means the less money going to public schools. Rich conservatives could care less about public schools because the idea down is to get vouchers from the government to pay the hefty price tag to send their kids to rich private schools. The less students going to public schools, the more they can cut them back, which would mean bigger class sizes, less one on one attention to students, less money spent on textbooks, etc.

Education has become the new money-making scam for conservatives, no bones about it.

Finally I see now you wrote in your opening post:

Quote
For example, many – perhaps most – readers believe that those mean old conservative Republicans, Tea Party types and even Libertarians hate black people while the more liberal Democrats, Socialists and their ilk are working tirelessly for the disadvantaged – especially African-Americans.   

So this is your best example to refute that?
There is a reason those perceptions exist, mostly because they  are real. The GOP hasn't done one substantial thing for blacks in all the years I have been following them, and the Tea Party is well known for its  racist crazies
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Lugus
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« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2012, 07:21:11 pm »

I apologize to any I may have offended if I came across as being overly sarcastic. 
But, please do not offer any conjecture on my sympathies or experiences.

You wrote, “The more money that goes to vouchers means the less money going to public schools.”  As mentioned in my original post, the D.C. public schools are saving at least $16,000 for each student that uses a voucher. 

In reality, the voucher program costs D.C. government nothing.  The whole point of the bill was that the U.S. government was going to pay for the bill.  Thus, the voucher program means that there is more money per public school student.

You wrote, “Rich conservatives could care less about public schools because the idea down is to get vouchers from the government to pay the hefty price tag to send their kids to rich private schools.”  I hardly know what to say.  The whole point of the D.C. voucher program was to help students who cannot afford to attend private schools.  I don’t know how it handled in other American cities but in D.C. there was a voucher lottery due to the large number of applicants.

Also, just to let you know, who was eligible:
Priority and Eligibility of DC OSP Recipients.
•   The SOAR Act is only available to students from low-income families and gives a preference to siblings of current scholarship recipients.
•   An eligible DC OSP student must be a student who is a resident of the District of Columbia and comes from a household that receives assistance under the supplemental nutrition assistance program or whose income does not exceed 185 percent of the federal poverty line.
•   Some DC OSP recipients lost their scholarships when their parents’ economic situation modestly improved. To ensure there is no disincentive to accept job promotions or get married, the household income limit would be increased to 300 percent of the federal poverty for students already participating in the DC OSP.
http://www.speaker.gov/UploadedFiles/SOAR_Act_Summary.pdf

As you see from the above, the D.C. voucher program was “only available to students from low-income families….”

I am still hoping that some readers would realize that the voting on this bill illustrates how misinformed many of us are on the goals as well as the political strategies and agendas of our elected officials – particularly, the Liberal/Progressive politicians. 

You also mentioned the alleged racism of Tea Party.  I don’t how many (if any) people in the Tea Party are racist.  However, I suspect that your belief that there are racists within the movement is due to their opposition to President Obama because he is black.  If the Tea Party disliked the president because he is black, then we could reasonably expect that the Tea Party would be against all black candidates.  However, that is not the case.
 
Herman Cain had a few comments about Tea Party racism.  “Tea Party favorite Herman Cain: Racism 'doesn't exist in the movement' ”
http://am.blogs.cnn.com/2011/09/12/tea-party-favorite-herman-cain-racism-doesnt-exist-in-the-movement/

BTW –
I do not consider myself to be a conservative.
http://atlantisonline.smfforfree2.com/index.php/topic,30424.0.html
Feel free to take the quiz and post your results.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2012, 05:14:24 am by Lugus » Report Spam   Logged
Lugus
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« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2012, 05:32:43 am »

Quote

So this is your best example to refute that?
There is a reason those perceptions exist, mostly because they  are real. The GOP hasn't done one substantial thing for blacks in all the years I have been following them, and the Tea Party is well known for its  racist crazies

This example was used to illustrate a point.

The Democrats could have used the bill to show their overwhelming support of the African-American community.

If you accept that that the D.C. parents and students are correct in their happiness with the D.C. voucher program, then there must be a reason why 1 Democrat and 224 Republicans voted Aye while 186 Democrats and 9 Republicans voted Nay.  I hope that you agree the Democrats who voted Nay were not doing so because they wanted what was best for the students.





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Luke Hodiak
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« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2012, 09:16:58 pm »

Hi Lugus,

Tax money to schools is actually related to class size, so if all these student take these vouchers and go to private schools, yes, the public schools get less money. Discrimination protection is important, too!  What is to stop private schools from simply taking white students and not taking any black ones?

Finally, I don't blame the Democrats for voting against this bill. The Republicans across the country usually have a sneaky, under-handed way of dealing with things, they have never stood for civil rights of for black people and, if they are behind something, you can bet there is a profit margin involved somewhere for someone.

Finally, the parents of DC don't count. I'm sure that lots of well-meaning parents were against busing and for continuing segregation back in the 1960s. Government sometimes needs to take the lead on things to change attitudes. The answer is to put more money into public schools, not less, so that everyone gets the chance for a good education, not just the rich.
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Luke Hodiak
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« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2012, 09:39:56 pm »

Quote



You also mentioned the alleged racism of Tea Party.  I don’t how many (if any) people in the Tea Party are racist.  However, I suspect that your belief that there are racists within the movement is due to their opposition to President Obama because he is black.  If the Tea Party disliked the president because he is black, then we could reasonably expect that the Tea Party would be against all black candidates.  However, that is not the case.
 
Herman Cain had a few comments about Tea Party racism. TEA PARTY RACISM:


Actually, it has been pretty well documented that the Tea Party is racist. The signs at their rallies, the spitting on black politicians, the hanging onto the bogus "birth certificate" issue despite any evidence to support it.

Cain doesn't count, by the way. No vote was ever cast for him in the Republican primary and other black politicians like Michael Steele were drive from their posts in the GOP. There aren't that many black politicians in the Republican Party so bringing up people like Cain and Allen West is misleading.

Here is a video and some pics to display how racist the Tea Party is. They are indicative of a people who never got mad at any of the things they are mad about now until they had a black man as President:

What The Media Won't Show You About Teabagger Racism



http://twitter.com/ronaldjackson - Fake grass roots (astroturf) organization grows out of a hatred of non-whites and hatred of a black president. Post this video to your blog or website. Help get the word out about the TRUTH regarding Tea Party Racism.







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Lugus
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« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2012, 03:57:13 pm »

If your position is that there are stupid, vain, evil, bad, mean, selfish or racist people in the Tea Party movement and in the Republican Party, then you are almost certainly correct.

If your position is that there are no such people in the Democratic Party or in the Socialist Party, then you are almost certainly incorrect.

If your position is that Democrats and other liberal groups are doing everything that they can to help the African Americans while the Tea Party and Republicans are doing all they can to hinder black Americans, then you are assuredly incorrect.

Correct me if I am wrong –
•   Your position is that, if any Tea Party members or Republicans ever made any kind of untrue or threatening remarks about the president or blacks, then those groups must be inherently racist.
•   Your position is that, if any Liberal or Democrat ever made any kind of untrue or threatening remarks about white people, then these were either isolated incidents or the remarks were in some way justified.
•   Your position is that you will justify virtually any actions by the liberal/progressive Democrats as being pro-Black while anything that they are opposed to must be anti-Black.  Thus, it is not the action that is important but who are its initiators and supporters. 
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Volitzer
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« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2012, 04:50:48 pm »

There are racists in the Democrat Party too look at this ad from 1800.



Show this to your DEM friends when you
are trying to explain how the 'parties'
switch 'social issues' around from
time-to-time to assure a 50%/50%
division of the sheeple. OHIO democratic
party ticket in the 1800s (?):

I have yet to meet a racist in the Constitution Party.    Wink
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Tom Hebert
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« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2012, 07:40:04 pm »

Hi Vol.  I see you still have your blinders firmly in place.   Smiley
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Deanna Witmer
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« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2012, 09:08:07 pm »

Volitzer!  That poster is from 1800, before the Civil War! Got anything from this century?
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Luke Hodiak
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« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2012, 09:27:10 pm »

Quote
If your position is that there are stupid, vain, evil, bad, mean, selfish or racist people in the Tea Party movement and in the Republican Party, then you are almost certainly correct.

If your position is that there are no such people in the Democratic Party or in the Socialist Party, then you are almost certainly incorrect.


By all means, feel free to show me some pictures of people in the Democratic Party being racist and bigoted then, recent ones.

Quote
If your position is that Democrats and other liberal groups are doing everything that they can to help the African Americans while the Tea Party and Republicans are doing all they can to hinder black Americans, then you are assuredly incorrect.

No, my position is that Democrats and liberals actually do what they can to help blacks, while Republicans do nothing for them and the Tea Party actively hates them.

Quote
•   Your position is that, if any Tea Party members or Republicans ever made any kind of untrue or threatening remarks about the president or blacks, then those groups must be inherently racist.

It depends on what they said, but yes, the Tea Party is basically comprised of racists who were never concerned about any of their issues until Obama, a black man, took power.

Quote
•   Your position is that, if any Liberal or Democrat ever made any kind of untrue or threatening remarks about white people, then these were either isolated incidents or the remarks were in some way justified.

BY all means, show some incidents where the Dems or Libs ever made any remarks about white people and we'll go over them.

By the way, true racism occurs when a majority oppresses a minority. Since blacks here are only about 12% of the population, it is hard for them to employ actual racism.

Quote
•   Your position is that you will justify virtually any actions by the liberal/progressive Democrats as being pro-Black while anything that they are opposed to must be anti-Black.  Thus, it is not the action that is important but who are its initiators and supporters.  

Most Dems are pro-black people, we have more black politicians in the Democratic Party.  Black people support the Democratic Party at around 92% since the 1964 Civil Rights bill was passed. It cost us the votes of all the racists in the south, but it was worth it.

If you want more black support in the Republican Party, here is some advice: stop catering to racists.
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