Scare tactics

The Obama Administration has been caught in another lie. The Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, in an interview over the weekend claimed that because of the sequester cuts teachers were receiving pink clips notifying them they would lose their jobs. He even cited a West Virginia School District as an example.

The Washington Post checked with the school district and found that 104 teachers were being transferred around but nobody was losing their jobs; moreover, the transfers had nothing to do with the sequester cuts. They labeled it an outright lie.

Scare tactics are a typical ploy used to get taxpayers to pay for ever-increasing educational expenses. In my local district, I was working with a civic association by monitoring the local school board. As a former educator, I was the logical choice. In a meeting with teachers, parents, school officials and school board members, they discussed opposition to the local school district driving up property taxes. Property taxes were exceeding mortgages. At one point, a veteran teacher who sat two people away from me said, “If we have to, we can tell the parents that it will hurt the students again. It scared them in the past so it should work now.” Everybody looked at me because the teacher blundered. I had been writing articles about how the district was constantly using scare tactics and here was proof.

I had worked in districts where we had budgets cuts. We just reallocated how the money was spent through priorities. No essential services were cut nor were students impacted by the cuts.

The local school district received a shock that year because my civic association presented enough evidence about the use of scare tactics and waste of money to persuade voters to vote the budget down. Our state law required the local town council to review the school budget and either restore it or cut more out of it. The teachers union flooded the hearing to intimidate people but it didn’t work. The town council found out that there was wasted money and the school district had not been paying its bills. The council went along with the voters and cut several hundred thousands of dollars out of the budget.

The result was that the education of the students was not impacted because the state law forbade any cutting of funds that affected the students education. Instead, convention trips and other unnecessary non-educational items were cut.

There may be the gullible on the national level who will believe Duncan but anybody who has a little bit of knowledge about how school districts finance education would realize how he lied. Schools districts are supported by local taxes, not federal money. Pink slips are a warning that a job could be cut because school budgets are often finalized in May. So pink slips are given out in April just to notify teachers they could possibly lose their jobs.

The Obama Administration is like the character “chicken little” who screams the “sky is falling.” The sequester was a White House idea and months ago Obama defended the cuts as necessary but now he has reversed his position. The Republicans have already submitted bills to avoid the sequester cuts but Obama doesn’t want to discuss the bills, offer a bill of his own or seek a compromise. So he resorted to “scare tactics” to get his way. This has been the Obama way since he got into the White House. He leads from behind and it shows.


About camden41

Retired public school administrator Retired history professor: Taught Western Civilization, American Civil War, United States History, Economic History, Ancient & Medieval Foundations, American History Since 1945
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