Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Silver Lining In A Government Shutdown

It looks like we're headed for a government shutdown on Tuesday.

The Washington Post reports:

House Republican leaders proposed a new plan to the GOP rank-and-file Saturday afternoon: Make a new gesture of defiance toward President Obama’s health-care law, even if it increases the chances of a government shutdown Monday night.

Their plan calls for amendments to a bill designed to keep the government open for a few more weeks. The changes would include a one-year delay in the health-care law, which is set to take effect next month. The GOP plan would also repeal, permanently, a medical-device tax included in the law.

The advantage of that plan — for Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and his team — is political. After being criticized by GOP hard-liners for not doing enough to undermine the health-care law, Boehner has taken a far more aggressive position. Instead of seeking to take away some of the money to implement Obamacare, their new plan would push back the whole thing.

The disadvantage is more practical: This plan is far more likely to result in a government shutdown. It may pass the House — and it may even pass Saturday. But it is not likely to pass the Democratic-held Senate or be signed by Obama.

If nobody backs down, that would mean no funding bill passed before the deadline to avert a shutdown: Monday night.

The silver lining in all of this?

 More than 90 percent of department employees would be furloughed during the first week of a shutdown. The department has roughly $22 billion in key K-12 formula funding through state Title I, special education and career and technical education grants to give out during the first week of October. Those dollars would still go out, even if there's a shutdown. If the shutdown goes on for more than a week, some additional employees could be called back to work. But it would be a very small number, no more than 6 percent of total staff, at any given time. 
Some programs could still make payments, including Pell Grants and Federal Direct Student loans. And other grants would still be allocated, on a limited basis (only if not getting the money would "significantly damage" the programs). It's unclear what that would mean for Race to the Top, Investing in Innovation, and Promise Neighborhoods. Those programs all have fiscal year 2013 funds that are only available through Dec. 31. 

Gee, the people in Washington pushing insane teacher evaluation systems based upon Endless Testing and voodoo value-added measurements, the people pushing the Common Core and Race to the Top and NCLB waivers that force states to evaluate teachers based upon test scores and fire the "ineffective" ones, are going to be furloughed until this thing gets settled?

What a shame.

And Race to the Top and Investing in Innovation grants and programs might go unallocated and unfunded?

Gee, that's terrible.

Oh, wait - maybe neither of these things are so bad.

Considering all the harm these people at Arne Duncan's DOE have done through their arrogance, their overreach, their dictatorial top-down stick approach to education, I can't say that a couple of weeks of scaled-down USDOE staffing and unfunded education reform programs makes me all that sad.

So long as Title 1 funding goes out, and Pell Grant payments are made, I can't get all that worked up about a government shutdown hurting education.

Not after all the harm caused by these people at the USDOE in order to give districts the "tools" to fire teachers, close schools, open up cyber-charters and do all kinds of harmful things that enrich their corporate masters (many of these people eventually end up working for Pearson, McGraw-Hill, Kaplan, Apollo Group, et al. as soon as they leave government service.)

I can muster up some sympathy for secretaries and the janitorial staff.

But the bureaucrats involved in policy?

Enjoy your furloughs.

I'm sure the boy and girls running things in the House and Senate will get it all worked out and you'll be back at work screwing with public schools in no time...


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