Sen. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem, said legislators don’t want the federal government involved in the state’s education decisions.Go get 'em Rep. Frank (R-Embarrassment)! But now for the reality:
But Congress wrote the law in such a way that, if the Legislature and governor don’t accept the federal dollars, the money would be sent directly to Utah school districts. That would cut the Legislature entirely out of the decision-making process, Dayton said.
“I’ve got a lot of angst over that whole issue,” she said. “They’re trying to dictate 100 percent of our policy and what do they give us, 8 percent of our budget? It’s just not an appropriate arrangement.”
The $101 million in federal aid is part of a $10 billion package passed by Congress earlier this year, aimed at helping schools avoid laying off teachers.
Legislative leaders and Gov. Gary Herbert expect to use about half of the money to cover a budget shortfall created by tax collections that have been lower than projected. They plan to send the rest to various school districts based on a formula.
Rep. Craig Frank, R-Cedar Hills, said the state shouldn’t be forced to take federal funds and sees the issue as a “good opportunity to further push back against the federal government’s intrusion into the state autonomy, and they just continue to do this.”
These 10th-er Hacks aren't pearl clutching over getting this money, and they are devoid of a clue as to what Utah could do instead to keep schools above water. The "opposition" to "intrusion" is tantamount to a wing-nut temper tantrum, and the truth of their "concern" is that the Feds won't just sign the check over so that they can use it for items other than teachers, schools, etc. The "strings" they object to are the "strings" that mandate this money as education money, not "back fill the budget to cover for your failed tax policy" money.
Carl Wimmer isn't known to be a big picture thinker (or even a regular picture thinker). Dayton is a proven reactionary. And Craig Frank is... well, nobody cares what Craig Frank thinks. So ignore the pomp and circumstance, and settle your nerves about all the "tyranny" that is "you can't spend this money like morons with a federal check book."
The reality is even more shrinking of the institutes of education in this state (and as a result, less wiggle room, as today's students become tomorrow's economic foundation), or cashing the check. And all the hand-ringing over what we'll do when even this money is gone only overshadows the fact that the 10thers, Demagogues, Birchers, and Ideologues on the righty-est fringe of the legislature have absolutely no plan for the future beyond Vouchers 2.0, and the Overstock.com School of Science.
We are going to cash the check. We have to cash the check. And Dayton, Wimmer, and Frank are welcome to lose sleep over the "strings." Smarter folk should not.