Common Core Delay a Political Tactic in Pennsylvania

I received several emails when the breaks were put on Common Core and I responded that I was suspicious of the move.  We are now getting confirmations that this was nothing more than a tactic to get the opposition to Common Core to back off.  The administration, working with the Department of Education, planned all along to wait until the legislative body recessed after the budget session and then move ahead in July with the implementation of Common Core. Without specific legislation repealing Common Core it can not be stopped unless the Department of Education voluntarily stops it and they have ABSOLUTELY NO INTENTION OF DOING SO!  

Peg Luksik sent the following out in an email on 6/7/2013

According to Capitol Wire, the Pennsylvania Department of Education told House and Senate GOP leaders that they had decided to…

postpone submitting the regulations so no action by the General Assembly to stop Common Core would be necessary.  This was NOT a retreat, it was a move designed to stop legislative action. 

And legislative action is what is necessary to stop the education bureaucracy from moving forward. 

At the same time, the Department clearly stated that Common Core implementation would NOT be interrupted.  Department spokesman Tim Eller wrote, “The regulations for the national Common Core and the 10 Keystones were adopted in 2010 and take effect on July 1, 2013. Without adoption of the pending amendments to Chapter 4, the 2010 regulations will take effect.”

They will take effect because the federal government first gave the States an August 2010 deadline for adopting the standards and then gave them three years to move from adoption of the Common Core standards to implementation.  The time line was never in Pennsylvania’s control – it was dictated from Washington. 

In accordance with that mandated time line, the Pennsylvania State Board adopted the Common Core standards on July 1, 2010, setting the three year implementation countdown in motion.

The actions taken by the Department, therefore, were not designed to stop implementation.  They were designed to stop opposition – giving parents and taxpayers the illusion of victory so we would stop working.

Corbett has taken a vow of not raising our taxes as have many of our state legislators.  They boasted that they kept this obligation last year even though many of us have been seeing continually rising property taxes as a direct result of the actions fvrom Harrisburg.  After getting a paltry 41 million of the 645 million necessary to implement Common Core from the Federal Government, Corbett can keep his promise not to raise State taxes by forcing a state mandated program down to the local level through the local option “property taxes”.   This is nothing new.  They’ve done this countless times in the past, most egregiously with the Pension.

The uniformed will them go after the school boards and attack them for hiking up the school taxes when the ones to blame are the Department of Education and the Current Administration.  In spite of this, we still have difficulty in getting many to understand that this is now standard operating procedure and is one of the reasons the school property tax must be eliminated.  Since its implementation the school property tax has been in place to provide local revenue from local citizens to school districts to comply with State Regulations and Mandates.  They call this local control.  The Department of Education was enacted as an enforcement body to bring schools under compliance to the State regulations of the Public School Code.  This they call local control.  The State Department of Education was created to write more mandates and regulations and pass them down to our local schools.  This they call local control.  The School Property Tax was created to make us pay for these mandates and regulations coming out of this appointed body.  This they call local control.

While many are shocked about the 15% wiggle room comment concerning Common Core as far as control by the State, The State has been doing the same thing with our local school districts.  The Massive regulations of the Public School Code enacted in 1949 and Title 22 of the Pennsylvania Code do that to our school boards, it gives them a little wiggle room.  That’s not local control, that’s controlling the locals.  The truth is that in most cases the hands of our local school boards are tied.  Then they have the external pressures of the PSEA when it comes to contract negotiations.  Both the Public School Code and Title 22 contain obligatory protections to the PSEA and there is a reason for this.  The Majority of the appointed members of the State Board of Education are proactive supporters of the PSEA and have spent time working for and lobbying for the PSEA before getting their appointed positions.   The local school board understands full well what happens to a community when a school district goes on strike.  They understand the additional cost to the community and will do everything in their power to prevent this, even if that means some residents will lose their homes in the process.

We must taker a serious look at this because there is a problem and its bigger than Common Core.  Common Core is a symptom of a much larger disease and if we don’t cure the disease the symptoms will return.  It’s like putting ointment on a sore shoulder when the problem is really bone cancer.  Yes, there is temporary relief but by ignoring the real problem things only get worse.

The Public School Code originally enacted in 1949 empowered the State Board of Education.  It gave them the power to do exactly what they have done with Common Core.  They did it before…many times.  This time it woke people up because the State Board of Eduction is giving Controls over Curriculum in Education to the Federal Government.  Article 26B, Sections 2601-B through 2606-B of the Public School Code granted the State Board of Education regulatory authority that allows for such functions without oversight by the General Assembly.  Once enacted, the only way to stop it is for the General Assembly to pass legislation that prevents the action from taking place.  This was never the way legislation was supposed to work.

Why would our government create such powers in appointed Agencies?  Well, in short order, when an Administration has something they want to get done without the hassles of going through the legislative branch of the General Assembly, they use these Departments, Agencies and Commissions to get it done.  If something goes wrong The Administration then claims ignorance and then they just throw a couple of these appointees under the bus and fool us into thinking the problem is solved.  Actually in more cases than not the appointee is just moved somewhere else where they will continue to receive pay and benefits.

We are watching this on a grand scale in Washington but it happens at the State level as well.  Both Republicans and Democrats benefit from this system because the special interests, from where these appointments originate, make sure the campaign funding mechanisms stay well-greased and the political operatives also benefit from this.  That is why this is one part of the Common Core problem they won’t talk about.

Take a breath and look around you.  Look at all the intrusions into our lives by all the Departments, Agencies and Commissions.  Look at the countless hearings where our legislative body appears to be clueless of what’s going on and then when violations of our Constitution become evident the legislators scramble to make excuses to protect the Unconstitutional, which means illegal, actions of these appointed bodies.  Why should it come as any shock to us that the same thing is happening to us in our State Government?

Susan Rice lies to the American People and she gets a promotion to another appointed Agency.  We are shocked.  The Deputy Secretary of Education in the State lies to us and we get a deflection tactic.  Again, we are shocked.  Yet so many fail to make the connection, or they’ve made it and refuse to discuss it. In spite of the countless times this happens, the American people somehow think this is a solution and meanwhile the disease just spreads deeper and deeper.   What ever we do the one thing that doesn’t happen is a removal of the very legislation that makes all of this possible, the empowerment of these Departments, Agencies and Commissions.

The Departments, Agencies and Commissions are a tumor in Government that was never intended by our founders.  It is, in essence, a fourth branch of government where our Administrations and legislative bodies can move things without going through the Constitutional Process that has built in checks and balances.

Here in Pennsylvania, the great enabler of all of these abuses concerning education is the school property tax, created by the legislators to separate the controls of our schools away from our municipal governments and place those schools squarely in the hands, not of the legislative body, but in the hands of the appointed Department of Education which is controlled by “elite educators” who are married to the PSEA creating an oligarchy of control without true representation.  They needed a taxing authority to accomplish their Agenda and that was the enactment of the school property tax.  Not only were they going to seize control of our schools they were going to make us pay to enable that seizure.  In the process, they made very sure that they were also going to be well-paid for such actions and that was also funded through the school property tax.

We watch as every external analysis of the quality of Education is steadily declining while the cost of education rapidly increases and then the Department of Education releases an internal report claiming otherwise and people trust them regardless of the number of times they’ve lied to us or the number of times they have pushed their failed programs on us at great financial and quality cost to education.  As in any other extortion racket, if you let the ones committing the extortion write the reports, they aren’t going to admit to what it is they are actually doing.

This is a corruption of the founding principles of our government.  It is a corruption of our educational system and it is a corruption of our schools and it has to stop.  Ointments, band-aids and slings aren’t going to fix this problem because it’s a much deeper problem.

I’ve been told countless times that the school property tax is a just symptom.  To me that’s like saying that smoking is a symptom of cancer.  The School Property Tax is not a symptom, it is the enabler.  It was enacted at the same time they created the Department of Education for a reason and that reason should be obvious to all of us by now.  To use our homes as an extortion tool to rob us of our controls of local education.  Like most progressive assaults on our freedoms and liberties there were the long term goals  and the progressives are a painfully patient lot.  We were warned….

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.

It is time to put an end to the fourth unconstitutional branch of government that exists in this Administrative State of Departments, Agencies and Commissions.  It is time to go back into our legislative efforts that have empowered them and repeal those laws.  It is time to remove the financial enablers of these monstrosities that are destroying our nation from within.

Most importantly it is time for Americans to stand and help in this fight to restore a true form of Representative Government.  Essential to this fight is the securing of the protections of our right to truly own our property.  To establish once and for all that governments were instituted for the protections of our right to property not for the purpose of taking as much from that property as they declare.  To establish once and for all that we are a Republic where there is a rule of law in the forms of our State and Federal Constitutions and that under this rule of law we have a representative from of government, not a government with more Departments, Agencies and Commissions than we have elected bodies and not to grant legislative and executive powers to these bodies.

We need to understand that the appeasement of our local governments in surrendering their Sovereignty to the State and our State Governments in surrendering that Sovereignty to the Federal Government is primarily taking place through powers granted to appointed bodies through the granting of regulating authority and the granting of the power to enforce those regulations through a system of government foreign to the founding principles of our State and Country.

We have every reason to be concerned about Common Core but this time let’s not end the fight with the mere repeal of Common Core, let’s do what is necessary to strip the Department of Education of their regulatory powers and put them under the absolute controls of the legislative body where we can keep an eye on what is happening.  As a people we can not be blamed for not standing up to Common Core sooner since it was enacted at closed door meetings out of public scrutiny.  We can, however be blamed for ignoring the open process of a representative government that we deliberately choose to ignore.


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