Job training? Sure, to be a COP!
Sen. Kamala Harris introduced a bill Wednesday that would give people money -- directly! -- for job training. As is mandatory, it includes a clever acronym: the "21st Century Skills are Key to Individuals' Life-Long Success (SKILLS) Act." The proposal would provide individual accounts up to $8,000, which could be used for education or training programs as well as for transportation or childcare to allow people to attend such training. Harris's office says as many as 78 million Americans could be helped by the plan. Just as long as none of them sign up for "Trump University."
Just another racist lady being discriminated against for being racist! Or, you know, NOT THAT.
A Texas high school teacher has been shitcanned for a series of tweets in which she implored Donald Trump to please come rid Fort Worth and its school system of "Illegals." The longtime teacher, Georgia Clark, complained on Twitter, "Mr. President, Fort Worth Independent School District is loaded with illegal students from Mexico," and asked for help, please: "Anything you can do to remove the illegals from Fort Worth would be greatly appreciated."
Instead, in a school board meeting Tuesday evening, Clark was removed from her job, with cause, because darned if the board members wanted a great big racist teaching kids in a city where a third of the population is Hispanic.
NOT TODAY, SATAN!
On the one hand, things really are getting better. The Post is getting rightly dragged for breathlessly reporting that Senator Elizabeth Warren got paid in actual American currency for practicing law. The blatant sexism in the coverage has overtaken the nothingburger story itself. And Andrew Kaczynski's ratio is a thing of beauty.
On the other hand, WHAT IS THIS SHIT?
How will Fox News get more viewers if people are 'educated' and stuff? TELL PETE HEGSETH THAT ONE!
Do you know which one the "Pete Hegseth" character is on Fox News? He is the greasy-looking one who doesn't wash his hands, because he can't see germs, therefore they don't exist. He was also reportedly at one point in the running to head the VA, because Donald Trump picks the best people. Also, he thinks veterans are BIG moochers. He is just, like, super-classy and also super-smart.
Naturally, therefore, Hegseth has penned a poorly written and edited op-ed to all the new college graduates of America, begging them to forget their whole education and just be Fox News dipshits like Pete Hegseth. It's accompanied by a faux "Fox & Friends" commencement address video, because that's sure to get the Youngs a-clicking. But we won't bother with that. Let's just look at some words old Poop Hands wrote.
Uh huh yep you betcha:
Can you believe this guy?
Billionaire technology investor Robert F. Smith rewarded this year's Morehouse graduates handsomely for staying awake during his commencement address. Smith had just received an honorary doctorate and in a stunning act of fellowship with his fellow graduating class, he pledged to pay off all their student loans.
It was a great moment at the historically black Atlanta college. Parents and students wept -- delighted that they wouldn't have to keep living together.
SMITH: On behalf of the eight generations of my family that have been in this country, we're gonna put a little fuel in your bus. This is my class, 2019. And my family is making a grant to eliminate their student loans.
This bus is getting some high-octane rocket fuel. The gift is estimated at $40 million, which means the 400 graduating seniors were carrying an average of $100,000 in debt. Why the hell does it cost so much to go to college? Graduates should leave college with endless ambition not saddled with so much debt they're figuring out which organs they'll have to sell on the black market. Young brother Aaron Mitchom had calculated that it would take him 25 years at half his monthly salary to pay off his $200,000 debt. He's thrilled he won't have to "live off peanut butter and jelly sandwiches." He might even have sex now. Because it's very hard to date successfully when all you have to offer anyone are peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Let a thousand position papers bloom!
Julián Castro continued the hot trend of 2020 campaigns with Big Ideas, releasing his "People First Education" plan Monday like some kind of common Elizabeth Warren. It has several elements in common with education plans already out there, like calling for universal pre-K, increased funding to fix education infrastructure, and free tuition for public universities, community colleges, and vocational schools. And like Warren, Castro also wants to tackle the student loan debt mess, albeit with a slightly different mechanism. Let's put on our poindexter spectacles and take a look!
OH WAIT you have to VOTE FOR HER first!
Guys, Elizabeth Warren is at it again, unveiling a proposal to cancel outstanding student debt and provide free higher education at public colleges and universities to anyone who wants it. Good lord, higher education for everyone? Fox News is going to have a fit. That will surely only leave the tiny vast majority of Americans who think higher education is a good investment susceptible to Warren's sneaky call for opportunity for everyone.
I managed to get a college scholarship, but then things turned upside down. The first boy I ever dated swooped back into my life and said he wanted to marry me. So I did what any sensible, mature 19-year-old would do: I said yes and dropped out of college.
Fortunately, once she got her head back on, she could afford the tuition -- just $50 a semester -- at University of Houston. She could even afford it on a waitressing salary, so she went back to school, got her degree, and became a teacher of special needs kids in elementary school.
Higher education opened a million doors for me. It's how the daughter of a janitor in a small town in Oklahoma got to become a teacher, a law school professor, a U.S. Senator, and eventually, a candidate for President of the United States.
Unfortunately, she says, that kind of opportunity seems a lot less common today, since states have cut back on funding higher education and costs have risen. (The annual cost for U of Houston -- including room, board, and books -- is $24,000 for in-state students today. In-state tuition alone is $8,724 a year). And now, most students who aren't already rich end up taking out tons of student loans. Warren notes all that student debt isn't just a bummer for students -- it's a drag on the economy.
It's reducing home ownership rates. It's leading fewer people to start businesses. It's forcing students to drop out of school before getting a degree. It's a problem for all of us.
He's got fire in the belly!
In a dazzling demonstration of failing upwards, Paul Ryan has secured himself a sweet teaching gig at the University of Notre Dame for the 2019-2020 academic year, the university announced Monday. The former speaker of the House and devotee of starving grannies for their own good will be a guest lecturer in economics and politics. Ryan is one of three "professor-of-the-practice" appointments, and will teach on "the fundamentals of American government, the current state of political polarization, and Catholicism and economics, among other topics."
Sounds like a good fit -- if anyone has practice in political polarization, it'd be the guy who dreamed of dismantling the social safety net since he was attending fraternity beer parties in college.
Shall We Watch Elizabeth Warren's Barnburning National Action Network Speech? Duh Of Course We Shall!
Settle in for a spell!
Elizabeth Warren gave a heck of a speech today at Al Sharpton's National Action Network conference (we hear Kamala Harris did, too!), outlining the case for her universal childcare proposal and also making the case for ending the filibuster in the Senate if Republicans get in the way of a Democratic president and Congress.
Elizabeth Warren's Powerful Speech On Childcare At The National Action Network www.youtube.com
Warren started with a familiar version of her life story, noting that she grew up in Oklahoma, "on the ragged edges of the middle class," and dreamed of becoming a teacher. She mentions that she would sometimes line up her dolls and teach them. "I was tough but fair." Her dream became a reality after finding a commuter college, but after a few years of teaching and starting a family, she decided to go to law school, and with a toddler not quite out of diapers, the issue of childcare suddenly became very real to her. The one place she and her husband could afford, with a week to go before classes started, required kids to be "reliably potty trained," or no thank you. After a pause, she told the audience, "I stand before you today courtesy of three bags of M&Ms and a cooperative toddler."
Yr Wonkette is ALWAYS here for a good constipated babby story!
Thoughts and prayers, y'all.
Karma's a bitch, Betsy DeVos! You could have just stayed in Michigan, spending your pocket change to ruin public education in sweet obscurity. Now every front page in the country is denouncing you as the wicked witch who tried to murder the Special Olympics, and your ignoramus boss is trying to drop the House on you. But cheer up, sister, because when the dust settles, you'll probably still get to steal millions of dollars from poor and disabled kids and put it into private school vouchers. And you made campus safe again for rapists. So, all in all, WINNING!
On Tuesday, the Education secretary faced an asskicking in Congress as she tried to explain why cutting the $17.6 million allocation for the Special Olympics was admirable fiscal prudence, rather than a heartless "fuck you" and a massive PR screw up. It went GREAT!
Did anyone ask for this?
Just when you were sure that Betsy DeVos could not get any more objectively evil, the Wicked Witch of Amway is now proud to announce that she has cut all Department of Education funding for the Special Olympics from her budget, which she claims is better supported by philanthropy and other federal and state funds. DeVos presented the budget, which will cut $7 billion from much-needed programs, at a hearing on Monday.
Did anyone ask her to do this? Are there really people out there begging for the Special Olympics to get defunded? Is this not something we can all agree is objectively monstrous? I'd like to think so, but I'll admit that I've become rather jaded in the past few years regarding what people will and will not recognize as straight up Disney villain behavior when they see it.
DeVos might have had a reasonable argument if all she were referring to was the actual Special Olympics. She could perhaps have an argument there that it isn't within the specific purview of the Department of Education. However, the program DeVos is cutting federal funding to is the Special Olympics Unified Champions education program, which seeks to help students with disabilities feel included and welcome at their schools.
The Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools program is aimed at promoting social inclusion through intentionally planned and implemented activities affecting systems-wide change. With sports as the foundation, the three component model offers a unique combination of effective activities that equip young people with tools and training to create sports, classroom and school climates of acceptance. These are school climates where students with disabilities feel welcome and are routinely included in, and feel a part of, all activities, opportunities and functions.
This is accomplished by implementing inclusive sports, inclusive youth leadership opportunities, and whole school engagement. The program is designed to be woven into the fabric of the school, enhancing current efforts and providing rich opportunities that lead to meaningful change in creating a socially inclusive school that supports and engages all learners. What a Unified Champion School "looks like" can vary greatly from school to school, based on the needs, goals, schedules and other factors unique to each school; but the basic building blocks remain the same.
Wow, that sure sounds like a very nice and useful program that improves the educational experience of students with special needs.
This is obviously commie talk.
Presidential candidate Kamala Harris has a radical idea: We should pay schoolteachers as if they'd actually attended school themselves. The California senator today announced details of her proposal to increase teacher salaries across the country. She'd first discussed the plan at a campaign event this weekend at Texas Southern University.
HARRIS: I am declaring to you that by the end of my first term, we will have improved teacher salaries so that we close the pay gap, because right now teachers are making over 10 percent less than other college-educated graduates.
The plan would raise average teacher pay by $13,500. That should permit them to quit at least one of their other part-time jobs. The federal government would pitch in the first 10 percent of required funding. States would have access to $3 in matching federal support for every dollar of additional state money until the pay gap is closed with other college-educated workers. In our home state of South Carolina, the average teacher would get a $9,300 raise, which is a 19 percent pay increase.
Harris elaborated further in an op-ed published in today's Washington Post.
HARRIS: The United States is facing a teacher pay crisis. Public school teachers earn 11 percent less than professionals with similar educations. Teachers are more likely than non-teachers to work a second job. In 30 states, average teacher pay is less than the living wage for a family of four.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is terrible at her job. Her objectives and overall mission are evil, but if it's any consolation she can't effectively implement them. After buying her Cabinet position at Sotheby's, DeVos has spent the past two years trying to roll back Obama-era policies designed to protect and actually educate students. Unfortunately for her evil schemes, federal courts keep smacking down her slimy efforts. It's getting embarrassing.
DeVos recently had to cancel $150 million in student loan debt after courts said her attempts to stop the "borrow defense" regulations from taking effect were in fact illegal. Last week, she was forced to instruct colleges to follow the Obama rule barring mandatory arbitration agreements. She got kicked in the teeth earlier this month when a federal judge ruled she'd acted illegally ... again. This time, DeVos tried to delay an Obama-era guideline that required states to address racial disparities in their special education programs. Judge Tanya S. Chutkan called the delay "arbitrary" and "capricious."
The rule, drafted under the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, would require states to identify districts with "significant disproportionality" in the number of minority students channeled into special education services, segregated in restrictive classroom settings or disciplined.
OK, so what was the "education" secretary's issue with this rule? We want to imagine there's some rationale we're not seeing and DeVos is more than just some yacht-collecting monster.
Great Moments In Gun Stupidity, part 5593 and counting.
Teachers in an Indiana school were shot in the back with plastic pellets by sheriffs' deputies during a January "active shooter drill," according to testimony in a legislative hearing this week. The rubber pellets, a bit bigger than a BB, were fired from an Airsoft pellet gun; at least one teacher reported the things raised welts and drew blood. But come on, it definitely got the point across that during an actual school shooting, people may get shot. That's very educational! The Indianapolis Star has the juicy stinging details:
[The incident] was confirmed by two elementary school teachers in Monticello, who described an exercise in which teachers were asked by local law enforcement to kneel down against a classroom wall before being sprayed across their backs with plastic pellets without warning.
"They told us, 'This is what happens if you just cower and do nothing,'" said one of the two teachers, both of whom asked IndyStar not to be identified out of concern for their jobs. "They shot all of us across our backs. I was hit four times.
"It hurt so bad."
Well look, lady, you're the one who volunteered to be on the front lines of combat by choosing to teach elementary school. Next we suppose you'll complain about having to carry your platoon's M-60 machine gun to the cafeteria. Nobody wants to hump the pig, but it's that or take point, OK?
The Indiana State Teachers Association, the state's teacher union, is asking lawmakers to add language prohibiting such simulated executions of school staff from future training, even though the sheriff's department that helpfully took teachers four at a time into a closet and pretended to blow them away has already promised not to do it anymore.
Florida teens wonder where exactly the porn is.
A pair of bills introduced in the Florida state legislature in February are aimed at cleaning all the dirty books from Florida schools, and at jailing any librarians or teachers who might allow a student to read filth like A Clockwork Orange or Toni Morrison's Beloved or The Bluest Eye. The bills, pushed by the rightwing Florida Citizens Alliance, would allow any Florida resident -- not just parents -- to challenge a book, and would make distribution of materials deemed "pornographic" or "harmful to minors" in schools a third-degree felony. No big -- that's only a five-year prison sentence and fine up to $5,000. Per bad book.
The sponsor of the Hose version of the bill, state Rep. Mike Hill, just knows the schools are full of porn.
The purpose of the bill is to remove pornography out of our public schools, which is existing there today. I've seen it firsthand [...] It is simply trying to protect our children.
The text of the bill, Florida HB 855, is pretty darn sweeping! The "harmful to minors" standard is defined thusly:
[Any] reproduction, imitation, characterization, description, exhibition, presentation, or representation, of whatever kind or form, depicting nudity, sexual conduct, or sexual excitement when it: (a) Predominantly appeals to a prurient, shameful, or morbid interest; (b) Is patently offensive with respect to what is suitable material or conduct for minors; and (c) Depicts an image or text that meets the definition of "deviate sexual intercourse."
But don't worry! Some depictions of sex or naughty bits would still be allowed in "materials used in a formal, scheduled sex education course." Which of course would require written permission (and possibly a character reference from a pastor). Also, we checked the relevant Florida statute to find out what in Florida constitutes "deviate sexual intercourse." It's truly wild stuff!
"Deviate sexual intercourse" means sexual conduct between persons not married to each other consisting of contact between the penis and the anus, the mouth and the penis, or the mouth and the vulva.
We all shared a good laugh yesterday about Jerry Lundegaard, Lynette Scavo, and Aunt Becky allegedly committing multiple felonies in order to get their pampered, academically challenged kids into fancy schools ... and USC. But this is seriously a major indictment of our supposed meritocracy that never actually existed. It's pretty damn infuriating. C'mon, rich people, your kids were already born on third base. Don't cheat their way across home plate.
Reading the court documents related to the case only raises our blood pressure to Vesuvian levels. Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy (we all know his ass was involved seeing as how he was on the phone calls) claimed their $15,000 bribe was for "disadvantaged youth." This also made it tax deductible. We're sure the IRS is already finding it interesting.
They also grossly abused the SAT accommodations for disabled students so their daughter could take the test alone with a bought-off proctor. This is the bit that wouldn't make it into a movie because the parents would rightly look repulsive and you don't want audiences throwing literal rotten tomatoes at the screen.
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