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Wednesday, September 6, 2023




Well, well, well, it seems like Oklahoma wants to give Florida a run for its money in the race to destroy public education! Meet Ryan Rasputin Walters, the Mad MAGA Monk of Oklahoma Education. He's on a mission to out-stupid Florida's dumbass Governor DeSantis by destroying Oklahoma's schools faster than DeSantis can destroy Florida's. And how does he plan to do that? By partnering with none other than PragerU, the ultra-conservative advocacy group that produces videos on cultural issues and historical events.

Yes, you read that right. Oklahoma has become the second state, after Florida, to approve the use of PragerU Kids instructional material in classrooms across the state. Now, some teachers are concerned about this move, labeling the material as "revisionist propaganda." And they're not wrong. PragerU has been criticized for inaccuracies in its content and for standing by staffers who make outlandish—and sometimes outright racist—statements.

But hey, who needs accuracy and diversity when you've got "American values" to promote? That's PragerU's motto, and it seems like Oklahoma is all for it. According to them, PragerU is "a free alternative to the dominant left-wing ideology in culture, media, and education." Because apparently, teaching kids about climate change and diversity is just too damn liberal.

But wait, there's more! Oklahoma Democrats have argued that PragerU consistently whitewashes history and that the partnership is another attempt to interfere with teachers and their work. And they're not wrong either. PragerU has been accused of spreading misinformation about topics such as climate change and standing by staffers who make racist statements.

So there you have it, folks. Oklahoma is joining Florida in the race to destroy public education. Who will win? Only time will tell. But one thing's for sure, Ryan Rasputin Walters is one Mad MAGA Monk who's not afraid to out-stupid anyone.

PragerU’s ‘Propaganda’ Videos OK’d for Oklahoma Classrooms by Supt Ryan Walters 

Oklahoma follows Florida in allowing PragerU in schools | The Hill 

Oklahoma State Dept. of Education announces partnership with PragerU 

Oklahoma State Department of Education partners with PragerU Kids 



Attention all Floridians! Have you heard of the Personalized Education Program (PEP)? No, it's not a new workout routine or a fancy diet plan. It's a voucher program that lets homeschooling parents use taxpayer-funded vouchers to buy whatever they want, from theme park tickets to big-screen TVs. Because nothing says "education" like a day at Disney World or binge-watching Netflix.

But wait, there's more! The PEP program is administered by two private nonprofits, which means there's no accountability or oversight. It's like giving your credit card to a stranger and hoping they don't spend it all on scratch-off tickets. And if that's not bad enough, the program is estimated to cost Florida taxpayers a whopping $4 billion. That's enough money to buy every student in the state their own personal theme park.

But don't worry, supporters of the PEP program say it allows parents to provide a "well-rounded education" for their children. Because apparently, nothing rounds out your education like a new Xbox game or a trip to Universal Studios.

And who's behind this brilliant idea, you ask? None other than our dysfunctional MAGA Ron DeSantis, the chief architect of the destruction of Florida's public education system. With the backing of DeVos and Koch, he's on a mission to resegregate our schools and privatize the education system. Because why have a public education system when you can have a voucher program that benefits only a select few?

So, if you're a homeschooling parent in Florida, congratulations! You can now use taxpayer-funded vouchers to buy whatever your heart desires. Just remember, when your child is asked what they learned in school today, "rollercoaster physics" is not an acceptable answer.

School Vouchers Are Dysfunctional by Design 



PEP scholarship are:

  • - It is **costly** for the state and may divert funds from the public education system. The program is estimated to cost Florida taxpayers $4 billion, which is more than double the current cost of the Family Empowerment Scholarship that it expands¹. Some lawmakers and education advocates fear that this will reduce the funding available for public schools, which are already under-resourced and face challenges such as teacher shortages, overcrowding, and achievement gaps²³.
  • - It is **lacking in accountability and oversight**. The program delegates the administration of the vouchers to two private nonprofit organizations, Step Up for Students and AAA Scholarship Foundation, which generate revenue based on how many students they enroll. These organizations have little incentive to monitor how the funds are spent by parents, who can use them for a wide range of educational expenses, some of which have dubious educational value. For example, parents can use the vouchers to buy theme-park passes, big-screen TVs, video games, and toys¹. There is also no requirement for students who receive the vouchers to take state assessments or meet academic standards²³.
  • - It is **detrimental to the quality and equity of education**. The program allows parents to use the vouchers to enroll their children in private schools that may not be accredited, licensed, or regulated by the state. These schools may discriminate against students based on their religion, disability, sexual orientation, or other characteristics. They may also teach curricula that are not aligned with state standards or that promote religious or ideological views that are contrary to scientific evidence or democratic values²³. Additionally, the program may create a system of educational segregation, where students from different backgrounds and abilities are isolated from each other and do not benefit from the diversity and inclusion that public schools offer²³.

Bing, 9/6/2023

  • (1) School Vouchers Are Dysfunctional by Design - New York Magazine.
  • (2) What parents need to know about Florida's school voucher expansion ....
  • (3) Florida Senate OKs private school voucher expansion. Bill heads to ....

The Florida Personalized Education Program (PEP) is a new opportunity for students who are not enrolled full time in a public or private school to access a scholarship that provides an education savings account (ESA) to fund their learning needs. The program was created by House Bill 1, which was signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis on March 27, 2023¹.

The PEP scholarship can be used to pay for various educational expenses, such as instructional materials, curriculum, virtual programs, fees for services provided by a choice navigator, contracted services provided by a public school or district, tuition for an eligible home education instruction program, fees for standardized tests and assessments, tuition and fees for private tutoring programs, tuition as a private pay student at Florida Virtual School, education at an eligible postsecondary institution or approved apprenticeship program, and digital materials²³⁴.

To be eligible for the PEP scholarship, students must be Florida residents who are not enrolled full time in a public or private school. There is no income requirement for the scholarship, but priority is given to families with a household income of 185% of poverty or below, renewing students of the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship and/or Family Empowerment Scholarship, and children in foster care or out-of-home care. Second priority is extended to families with a household income of 400% of poverty or below²³⁴.

To participate in the PEP scholarship, students must declare a grade level, submit a student learning plan (SLP) annually, take a state-approved national norm-referenced test and submit the results to their scholarship funding organization (SFO) prior to renewal of the scholarship for the next school year, and withdraw as a full-time public or private school student or terminate a home education program with their school district and enroll as a PEP student with an SFO²³⁴.

The PEP scholarship is funded through the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program, which allows corporations to receive tax credits for donating to nonprofit organizations that provide scholarships to low-income and working-class families. The program will serve 20,000 students in the 2023-24 school year and grow by 40,000 annually²³⁴.

The PEP scholarship is designed to give parents more freedom and flexibility to customize their child's education according to their individual needs and goals. It is one of the many school choice options available for Florida students. For more information about the PEP scholarship, please contact the SFOs that administer the program: Step Up For Students² or AAA Scholarships⁴.

Bing, 9/6/2023
  • (1) .
  • (2) Personalized Education Program - Florida Department of Education.
  • (3) Personalized Education Program - Step Up For Students.
  • (4) Florida – Personalized Education Program (PEP).
  • (5) undefined.
  • (6) undefined.
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Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, a late-season heat wave descended upon the Midwest and northeastern United States. This scorching phenomenon caused school closings and early dismissals, leaving educators and students feeling like they were trapped in a Grimm's fairy tale gone wrong.

As temperatures soared 15 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit above average, it seemed like the sun had a personal vendetta against anyone daring to step outside. It was as if Mother Nature herself had decided to turn up the heat and roast us all like a bunch of marshmallows at a summer campfire. But little did we know, the children were about to face an even more perilous fate.

In the midst of this heat wave, schools found themselves in a sticky situation. With more than 50 million people under heat alerts, it was clear that the scorching temperatures were not just child's play. The educators and teachers unions had a legitimate concern – how would extreme heat affect the health and learning abilities of the students?

But as the saying goes, "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the classroom!" And so, schools across several states in the US were forced to disrupt their normal routines. Heat advisories and lack of air conditioning turned classrooms into saunas, prompting half-day schedules and early dismissals. It was like a twisted game of "how long can you survive without melting?"

Big city districts like Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh were hit the hardest. Their old buildings, reminiscent of a bygone era, were ill-equipped to handle air conditioning. Instead, they seemed to have a knack for trapping heat inside their walls, turning innocent classrooms into ovens. It was like attending a cooking class without any intention of becoming a chef.

As frustrated students, teachers, and parents alike sought answers, they were met with a lack of transparency and planning. It was as if the heat had melted away all logic and common sense. The only thing left to do was to embrace the absurdity of it all and find humor in the chaos.

And so, amidst the sweat-soaked shirts and frizzy hair, a glimmer of laughter emerged. The situation became so ridiculous that it could only be compared to a slapstick comedy. Children baked like cookies in an oven, teachers broiled under the pressure, and parents wondered if their offspring would return home as crispy nuggets.

But fear not, for relief was on the horizon. As the week drew to a close, the Midwest and Northeast could finally bid adieu to the relentless heat wave. However, the South and Southern Plains were not so lucky. The scorching temperatures planned to linger like an unwelcome guest at a never-ending summer party.

In this twisted tale of extreme heat and teacher shortages, we are reminded that sometimes life throws us unexpected challenges. It's during these moments that we must find humor in the absurdity and band together as a community. So let us laugh at the roasting children, chuckle at the broiled teachers, and hope for cooler days ahead.

And remember, when life gives you a heat wave, make lemonade... but don't forget to add ice!

Heat wave closes schools across the country early : NPR 

Extreme heat forces school closings and early dismissals 

Extreme heat shuts down schools across U.S.