The administration pushed legislation to cut $11.9 billion from food stamps to cut the federal deficit as well as offset new spending for Medicaid aid to the states and a teacher jobs bill.
A typical family of three receiving food stamps will have their benefits cut by $47 a month - over $500 a year, beginning in 2014.
Considering that the administration itself now says unemployment will remain between 9%-10% to 2013, cutting food stamp benefits from families struggling to make ends meet is unconscionable.
Even now, fully two years after the economic mess started, unemployment is starting to rise again and the July 2010 jobs report is supposed to show a loss of 70,000 jobs.
So it's not as if many unemployed or underemployed people don't need the money for food.
But what is worse is WHY they cut the food stamp benefits.
According to Representative David Obey, they did it to avoid cuts to either their i3 or Race to the Top programs.
In fact, Obama threatened to veto ANY bill that added money for teaching jobs but took it from either RttT or i3.
Both programs spur "innovation" in education by focusing on firing teachers, closing schools, adding tests to every grade in every subject, and creating more data-tracking and collation systems that allow teachers to be paid and hired/fired according to student test scores.
The second round of Race to the Top winners will be announced later this month or early in September. Yesterday the administration announced the winners of the i3 contest - and of course it was all the ed deform cronies of the administration:
The U.S. Department of Education announced Wednesday that 49 districts, schools, and nonprofitsRequires Adobe Acrobat Reader beat out more than 1,600 other applicants in the competition for $650 million in grants from the Investing in Innovation, or i3, fund.
Four groups—the KIPP Foundation, Ohio State University, the Success for All Foundation, and Teach For America—won what are known as “scale up” awards worth up to $50 million each.
Fifteen groups won “validation” awards of up to $30 million, and 30 won “development” grants of up to $5 million.
The winners will focus their work in 250 different project locations spanning 42 states plus the District of Columbia, and 37 percent say they intend to serve rural school districts.
The i3 competition sought to reward districts, consortia of schools, and nonprofit organizations that proposed the most-innovative proposals focused on improving teacher effectiveness, low-performing schools, standards and assessments, and data systems. The $650 million pot of money is a relatively small piece of some $100 billion in education aid funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed by Congress last year.
Not sure how firing teachers and closing schools actually adds jobs or stimulates the economy, but it certainly does stimulate the egos of Obama and Duncan, who fancy themselves as "innovators" of education bringing more "change" to education in four years than others have done in decades.
Too bad the change is bad, the reforms are either unproven or disproven (as here in NYC), and the money that they're using for the "innovation" was saved from budget cuts BY CUTTING FOOD STAMPS FROM POOR PEOPLE.
Where is the outrage over this?
Hell, where are the edublogs on this?
Has Edweek even noted where the money came from?
How about the charter shills at Gotham Schools?
Is it too difficult to point out that the Obama administration is funding its education "innovation" on the backs of poor people?
UPDATE: Fred Klonsky is all over this, pointing out Duncan and Obama are the culprits behind the "food for teachers" bill.
God knows, the country might not survive a little less "education innovation" money.