Source of Federal Funds for Leviathan

The push from the federal government for access to your child’s private information started with the Educational Technical Assistance Act of 2002, Title II, which created the Institute of Education Sciences. The IES manages the SLDS grants — one source of federal handouts for Leviathan.

According to the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, no state had all 10 of the essential elements of a state data system in 2005. By 2008, however, six states (Utah, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida and Arkansas) had all 10 elements.

This could very well have been a direct result of the handout program, which started distributing other people’s money to states in 2005.

Handouts are spread over three to five years for up to $20 million per state. In November 2005, the first handout year, 14 states hit the jackpot. Twelve more states and the District of Columbia were lucky winners in June 2007. Twenty-seven states received grants in March 2009 (FY 2009), and 20 states in May 2010 (FY 2009 ARRA). In the latest windfall, announced May 2012 (FY 2012), a total of 24 states scored, including eight first-time winners.

In fact, Wyoming’s WDE asked for $13.2 million in 2009 under ARRA but didn’t get it.

Now, only Wyoming, New Mexico and Alabama have missed the mark.IES Winners art

IES is not the only source of federal funds for Leviathan. Some states have also used the $4.35 billion in Race to the Top funds. Race to the Top includes $4 billion for statewide reform grants and $350 million to support states working together to improve the quality of their assessments.

The purpose of the Race to the Top handout sounds great. States must:

  • Adopt standards and assessments that prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace;
  • Construct data systems that measure student growth and success, and inform teachers and principals how to improve instruction [emphasis added];
  • Recruit, develop, reward and retain effective teachers and principals, especially where they are needed most; and
  • Turn around their lowest-performing schools.

It seems unlikely, however, that more government spending and collectivizing children’s private data will achieve these lofty goals. The cost to create and maintain this fiction, needless to say, is steep.

Phase I

The spreading around of Race to the Top handouts started slowly but involved amounts that dwarfed the previously mentioned IES handouts. In Phase I, Delaware and Tennessee struck Race to the Top gold. Delaware got about $100 million and Tennessee $500 million to fund their reform plans for four years.


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