All posts by Clay Breece

Education Freedom/ Can this work?

ESA (Education Saving Account).
Educational Freedom Discussion begins at: 2:56:40
at 2:57:50  we hear a Board Director advocate support for a resolution preventing poor families from getting help from the state, in order to get out of failing schools. She was admittedly proud that she spearheaded this effort.
at 3:02;21 My comments:
It is increasingly challenging for our constituents to know whether the information we have about certain key issues is really complete.
This BILL is not in committee nor is it in the pipeline to be brought into committee. No details on implementation, or any specifics at all have been defined at the state level.
* Why then is there opposition to an education option, when the details haven’t been worked out by our state legislature? 
How did this school district put out a detailed resolution, when the details haven’t been specified at the state level? 
* The stated “points” on the resolution could possibly be wrong conclusions. 
Can this work?
We should be getting all the best practices from all states where this is currently implemented and succeeding; Before we come to any conclusions! 
Theoretically, can we all agree that Harrisburg needs to do something to improve education for all children?
Powerful Special Interests are as nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs. These special interests have a strangle hold on a system (Government Monopoly) that keeps poor people in failing school districts.
I feel that supporting a failing school system, fails our children. A child gets one crack at a good, comprehensive education. Their address, should not be the deciding factor whether they achieve academic excellence. People live where they can afford to live. We cannot and must not limit a child’s education to a geographic component. As a conservative I theoretically want to give poor people options, that they don’e normally have. I want a system that helps their families with more options. Forcing a family to relocate is not an option!
The most venerable are the poor. They do not have educational options!
Do we all agree that we have way too many failing schools where our children are graduating not being proficient in reading, writing or math?
We hear people talk about the economic opportunity for people. We hear professional prognosticators state things like: WE don’t give people economic opportunity, WE put poor people in bad neighborhoods, WE put poor kids in bad schools: Who is WE? The Bureaucrats in Washington, Harrisburg and on local school boards: They are the folks who set the rules.
They protect the Government Monopoly on education at all costs, even at the cost of sacrificing poor families on the alter.
I don’t blindly support a Government Monopoly. 
* If a school is failing; we need to offer options. The education in our state and our country has been failing for over 40 years. 
* If certain school districts fail to add value; if specific schools and school districts fail to teach children to master reading, writing, and math, then we need to look at options for process changes that will improve our academic outcome. 
* Options that will improve the economic opportunity for high school graduates.  
This is not a money issue, or funding issue as some would like us to believe. 
The fact is: School funding in PA and in most states approach nearly half of the total budget for the state!
To have an open discussion about improving public education, everything must be on the table.
ESA’s are not popular with powerful special interests whom control teachers, and are pulling the strings; controlling politicians and bureaucrats! Therefore, the powerful organizations that control the education system, also control the poor in our community. They keep them in failing schools!
These powerful special interests do not want ESA’s to be part of any open discussion.
The fact is, the outcome of our lives and our futures are based on Family formations and on Education. Our lives and futures are not based on “luck of the draw” or “White Privilege”.
The faster we improve education for everyone, the faster we can transform the complexion of who has economic opportunity and who doesn’t. 
We must support kids by giving them the best chance at economic success through academic excellence. We all know that great teachers properly compensated and thorough, up-to-date curriculum determine successful academic outcomes. 
Here are some facts from the PA Dept. Of Education.
There are nearly 1.7 million students enrolled in 
nearly 3400 PA schools (about 4% 130, are charter schools). 
678 High Schools in 500 PA School Districts
A School Performance Profile (SPP) of 60 or under is failing.
690 schools scored less than 60 on the SPP. 
139 high schools that scored less than 60 on the SPP
Over 20% of PA schools (690) have an SPP score of 60 or under; they are failing. Not just in SPP but also in Math and Reading proficiency and College Readiness. 
There are 139 high schools in PA with hundreds of thousands of students, that are less than 50% proficient in Math, less than 55% proficient in Reading/English and a less than 10% CRI.  

Flag Day June 14, 2016; Boyertown School District makes history!

Some public schools have no flag, some don’t even say the pledge of allegiance.

Young people need to know the significance of the American Flag. We live in a culture where the American Flag is not automatic, and the Pledge of Allegiance is not automatic.

I brought this concern up at the June 14, 2016 School Board Meeting. I wanted to prevent the above stated problem from occurring in Boyertown Schools. We then made history!
The vote for my motion was unanimous!

* Boyertown became the first School District in Pennsylvania to post the Bill Of Rights at the front of every classroom in all of our school buildings.
* We are also ensuring every classroom has an American Flag that is not just a wall ornament, but an obvious priority and focal point in every classroom.

In 1916 President Woodrow Wilson signed the proclamation officially declaring every June 14th as Flag Day. On June 14th 1937 Pennsylvania became the first state to declare June 14th Flag Day as a state holiday.

To be an American is a privilege and honor; to bear the name of American is to bear the most honorable of national titles; and whoever does not believe this, has no business to bear the name at all. Americanism is a question of spirit, conviction, and purpose. Minimizing American exceptionalism by downsizing our patriotism dislocates the soul and corrodes away the American spirit.

It is not just for today, but for the time to come, perpetuating for our children’s children this great symbol of a free government that we have enjoyed our entire lives.
Ronald Reagan once described comments from a Cuban Refugee;
This Cuban businessman, who had escaped from Castro, was describing his story and a friend of Reagan interrupted and stated “as Americans, we sometimes don’t know how fortunate we are;” The Cuban stopped and said, “How fortunate you are? How about me, I had someplace to escape to.”
If America loses freedom, there’s no place on earth to escape to. This is the last stand on earth.

Both Freedom and Liberty are not automatically passed to the next generation. They are not pre-installed in our hearts, its not like a software program pre-loaded into a new computer. Freedom and Liberty must be added to the programming and learned by each generation.