You will know them by their works.
Do they strive to provide a better education to all people, or do they encourage ignorance?
Do they try to promote opportunity for all citizens, or do they try to remove equal opportunity in education1?
Do they make sure that the children of our nation’s farmers, that our nation’s children that are most in need, and the children of those who first lived here… or do they pretend that those who live in the countryside, who are First Nations, or who are homeless have nothing different about their situation than a child who lives in an affluent suburb2?
Do they make sure that children get healthy food and don’t go to classes hungry, or do they want to get rid of nutritional standards for school meals3?
Do they recognize that children are individuals, and that some need more help than others, or do they want to leave those most in need of help with the fewest resources4?
Do they want to ensure that schools are held to an evidence-based interventions to fix schools with underperforming subgroups, or do they … well, apparently not care about those children5?
House Bill 610 was introduced by Rep. Steve King (R-IA-4) and mirrors pretty much every talking point that Betsy DeVos has ever said about the Department she now leads. And if you didn’t get it, the bill clearly shows the priorities of DeVos and the administration.
It’s obvious why they’re doing it. The right wing has been trying to make education a dirty word for my entire life.
They want people who don’t think for themselves. They want people who they can control.
They want sheep, not Americans.
While the bill has only been introduced in the House, a Senate version must take shape and pass through both houses of Congress before it stands a chance of becoming law.
That’s what makes calling BOTH your Representative and your Senator about H.R. 610 so important: Without a Senate companion bill, H.R. 610 won’t ever see the light of day.
Here’s a quick guide on how to find your congresspeople’s phone numbers, or you can use https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members
or find them via Project VoteSmart.
(Helpful hint: Once you’ve looked it up, put them in a text file on your phone or a specific contact group. We’re gonna have to keep calling a lot for a while.)
Here’s a script for you to use, snagged almost wholesale from Romper.com:
Tell them that you not only oppose the repeal of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 as outlined in H.R. 610’s “Choices in Education Act of 2017,” but that you believe the national school lunch and breakfast programs should meet basic nutritional standards. See if you can get a firm commitment from them that they will oppose such legislation if it comes before them. If they won’t commit or just flat out say no, tell them you’ll be calling back every day until they change their mind — and follow through on that promise, too.
And you might as well add this in:
We will know you by your works.
1 House 601, sponsored by the GOP, would do so by eliminating the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESSA)
2 House 601, sponsored by the GOP, would do so by eliminating ESSA, which covers programs for struggling learners, Rural Education, classes for Native Americans, and Education for the Homeless
3 House 601, sponsored by the GOP, would do so by abolishing the Nutritional Act of 2012 (No Hungry Kids Act)
4 House 601, sponsored by the GOP, would do so by eliminating ESSA, which ensures access to accommodations on assessments, access to general education curricula,
5 House 601, sponsored by the GOP, would do so by eliminating ESSA, which requires local education agencies to provide evidence-based interventions in schools with consistently underperforming subgroups