public education establishment

"Tebow Bill" Fails In Senate Education And Health Committee

The Senate Education and Health Committee this morning voted 7-8 (see vote) to defeat HB 947, a bill patroned by Delegate Rob Bell (R-58, Charlottesville), which would have removed a significant barrier preventing home school students from trying out for public school sports teams. Senator Harry Blevins (R-14, Chesapeake) joined the seven Democrats on the committee in opposition to the bill. The bill, which became known in the media as the "Tebow bill," was a top legislative priority for The Family Foundation. More than half the states in the nation have some type of measure that provides opportunities to home school students to participate in public school sports, but at this point Virginia will not join that league.

Delegate Bell eloquently presented the bill, anticipating opponents' arguments and masterfully debunking them. He explained that homeschoolers were not looking for a guaranteed spot on the team, but rather the ability to tryout. They were not looking to school shop, but rather tryout for their local high school team. They were not looking to participate for free, but rather pay any expenses the coach deemed appropriate. Additionally, the bill included the right for localities to add requirements of their own as well as a four year sunset. Nothing in the bill was an earthshaking change.

Opponents claimed homeschoolers want it both ways and that they know the rules when they make their choice. But Senator Jeff McWaters (R-8, Virginia Beach) countered that some students are caught in a trap of staying in public school just to play sports when their educational needs are better served in a home school environment.

After his presentation, numerous homeschoolers testified to their own academic prowess and athletic ability. One boy spoke of his participation in rowing. He rows with his team at many regattas, but is barred from rowing with his teammates when VHSL facilitates the competition. He expressed his frustration with his "second class citizenship." A public school student from Godwin High School in Henrico County, who plays on the junior varsity basketball team, told committee members that there was a shortage of students interested in playing girls basketball, so she and her teammates had to recruit players. She said that homeschooler participation would be a welcomed addition.

However, the  educrat establishment (Virginia Education Association, Virginia High School League, Virginia School Board Association, Virginia Superintendents Association, the Parent Teacher Association, etc.) turned out in full force to oppose the bill. Perhaps the most enlightening comment came from the PTA. Its lobbyist stated that 98.4 percent of high schoolers are public school students, which would mean 1.6 percent of students are either in private school or homeschooled. While that number seems a bit inflated, if so, it's ironic that so much panic has ensued from the public education lobby over a mere 1.6 percent of students!

The good news is that this is the farthest in the legislative process that this bill has traveled. For the first time, the bill passed out of the House of Delegates and made it to the Senate. We must continue to press forward, educating others on the fairness and importance of this legislation. The children of families who pay taxes that support the local public schools and are part of our communities, yet continue to be denied the ability to try out for an activity that they are funding for the simple reason that they are homeschooled. This discriminatory practice must end. Just as we said with school choice, the day will come when homeschool kids are treated fairly and allowed to try out for sports teams!

Prophetic Article? A Must Read To Understand The Future

A Barack Obama presidency has me scared for a long time for a number of reasons. There's the pending economic socialism and the disregard for innocent human life, among many urgent issues. During the campaign the many to whom I expressed my concern would respond with the conventional wisdom that he'll mess it up and the country will swing back to conservatism in the mid-term elections, as in 1994. (That's a big "if," predicated on whether the so-called conservatives in Congress remain scared of their own shadows and remain addicted to "big-government conservatism.")  I would reply to those who responded that way, "Not so fast." Conventional wisdom and the old models don't apply anymore. With such large majorities in Congress and control of the White House, the extreme, Angry Left will ram through several initiatives to permanently seal its institutional advantages. For example, the liberal media, which crossed from only being biased to all out left wing advocacy this campaign, will be cemented by the passing of the so-called Fairness Doctrine, minimizing (if not completely eliminating) conservative talk radio. Advantage, Left Wing Media.

How about the so-called Freedom of Choice Act? Senator Obama said it's the first bill he would sign. It would eliminate all state restrictions on abortion. (No need for state legislatures, then, huh?) Gone would be all parental consent, notification and regulations against partial birth abortion. Advantage, the government grant and profit machine known as Planned Parenthood (see LifeSiteNews.com, here).

The union card check bill, if it becomes law (see The Las Vegas Sun, here), will end the secret ballot in union organizing campaigns. This will create countless new union shops. Aside from the economic peril of making American industry less competitive, this bill will add tens of thousands of new union members to union rolls — along with their compulsary dues, which go to union political action committees and used to elect leftist candidates. Advantage, corrupt Leftist union bosses.

The public education establishment, which largely dumbs down children K-12, and the college education establishment, which largely indoctrinates them because, by then, students have been conditioned to feel rather than think, will get new, large amounts of federal grants to run their politically correct campus societies, further preaching liberal doctrine under the guise of teaching, both in the classroom and in campus regulations such as speech codes. Advantage, Leftist educrats and teachers union leaders.

I could go on. But someone else has for me. Give me one more minute.

When I extolled this theory, some saw credence. Some thought the conventional wisdom would magically re-write history in two years. Many thought I was looking for the man on the grassy knoll. My response was that I would write a thesis on it. End of minute. I don't have to write the thesis. Quin Hillyer, of The American Spectator, has. I don't know whether to celebrate that my theory has been vindicated or mad that I didn't publish it and get compensated for the idea first. Regardless, Hillyer's "Saul Alinsky Takes the White House" (click here) is a must read to understand what Christian conservatives and those who believe in traditional family values and limited constitutional government will face starting January 20, 2009. It is something we need to be prepared for and ready to work against — work very hard against.

Here's an excerpt:

Watch what Michael Barone called the Obama "thugocracy" use the Justice Department to stifle dissent. Anybody who complains about vote fraud will be charged with "vote suppression." Anybody who complains about DoJ's actions will be charged with interfering with an investigation. Anybody who denies having interfered will be charged with perjury. Likewise, anybody who peacefully protests abortion clinics or the use of state-sponsored racial quotas will be charged with a civil rights violation. And the accused won't be able to look to the Supreme Court for help: Anthony Kennedy's "evolving standards" of justice will evolve to match the new zeitgeist, providing a 5-4 majority for the administration. Meanwhile, of course, Obama's other appointments will be filling up the rest of the judiciary at a rapid clip, with nobody able to stop them.

Other ways the Obama axis will tilt the playing field: "card check" legislation to eliminate secret ballots in unionizing and to force union victories in contract negotiations. Provision after provision giving favors to the trial bar so it can sue enemies into submission. Copious new regulations, especially environmental, to be used selectively to ensnare other conservative malcontents. Invasive IRS audits of conservative think tanks, other conservative 501 organizations, and PACs.

What Ohio officials did in rifling through so many of Joe Wurzelbacher's files will serve as ample precedent. (Just watch, by the way: Nobody ever will be effectively disciplined for the violation of Wurzelbacher's rights.)

And, only when the time is right and the ground (or air) has been well prepared, will come the grand-daddy of all fights, the re-enactment of the misnamed "Fairness Doctrine."

It's not just Joe the Plumber. Remember Barbara West, the Florida anchor who dared asked Joe Biden tough questions? Her station was blacklisted. Three newspapers who endorsed John McCain had their political reporters thrown off the Obama press plane (see The Washington Times, here). That's before he was elected! But surely there are bigger fish to fry — perhaps IRS and government intimidation of churches and pastors? By the way, what's with the 250,000 member security force Senator Obama promised? (See Blue Collar Muse, here.)

The coming socialist, one-party state only will be a crazy conspiracy theory if people fully understand what's at stake and decide to get engaged, stay vigilant, remain active and work hard. Work very hard — starting now.