by Jan Greenhawk, Editor/ Easton Gazette
This is a re-issue of an article from October 2022 on Radio Free Oxford
NOTE: This article highlights an item in Maryland’s Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, a huge bill impacting the funding of Maryland’s public schools. It is a series of articles about the Blueprint. Even though this is about Maryland, the Community School initiative is in EVERY STATE. When you read this, replace Maryland’s programs with those in YOUR state.
Community School. It sounds so quaint, so nice, so comforting.
If you ask most people to describe a “community school” they would probably create a picture of a local school in a town, a school that served the children of that community, that was paid for by local taxes, and was a matter of local pride. Parents had access to the school, volunteered there, knew the teachers, etc.
The town I live in once had such a school, The Oxford School. It has long been closed because it was too small and too expensive to keep open. But it was a true community school where kids walked to school in the morning, went home for lunch, walked back, and walked home after dismissal. My husband attended that school when he was a child. It was a community school in the truest sense.
The community schools I am going to describe for you are not that community school. They are something much more invasive and insidious. And they will cost state taxpayers millions.
The new definition of “community schools” is posted on many websites, but let’s start here in Maryland. From MSDE:
“Community schools are schools that develop and utilize partnerships that connect the school, students, families, and the surrounding community to the resources needed to thrive. They highlight the assets in traditionally underserved communities and leverage partnerships, ultimately providing students, families, and communities with essential services and support. Through strategic partnerships, community schools work to provide access to high quality academics, health services, mental health support, academic enrichment, out of school time programming, crisis support, adult education classes, leadership development and more. “
State educators like to call this “full-service schools” with “wraparound services.” Sounds great, huh?
But let’s break this down. The same school systems that cannot account for all their Covid relief funds, cannot find all their students (Baltimore City can’t find 1300 students), don’t have enough teachers and auxiliary staff for schools, can’t get state testing scores out in a useful and timely fashion because they are SO bad, locked down and cost our children up to two years of learning, now want to provide “one stop shopping” community schools. Even worse, these are the schools that are so focused on social justice, CRT, and SEL that they don’t adequately teach basic academic content. Yet they promise they will provide all these other services efficiently and expertly while teaching content. It’s a scam and they know it.
Who is pushing this and why?
THE UNIONS: Both Teachers Unions are working very hard to promote the community school concept. In fact, the NEA wants community schools so badly that that union head Becky Pringle allocates $3 million dollars of union funds per year to 100 community schools in the country. While the Union hides their motives with statements about doing what is best for poor children, it’s important to remember that the NEA has rabidly supported abortion rights and sexual indoctrination of children at young ages. On the abortion front, the union has called its members to protest and march in favor of these rights. When it comes to sexual indoctrination, they oppose Florida’s law to prohibit sexual content in early childhood classrooms. They actively promote drag queen events and gender reassignment treatments. The union spends $100,000 a year to “investigate” organizations who oppose sexual indoctrination of young children in schools. And one of the links on their national website goes directly to a site for kids that promotes sexual activity of all kinds.
But now we are supposed to believe they are all about what’s best for kids. I don’t think so.
Just in case you’re wondering, the American Federation of Teachers has similar connections.
If you are going to promote this kind of agenda, what better way to do it than a “community school” that not only has the children for six hours or more a day, but also controls their meals, medical and psychological care, as well as those services for their parents and families and more. Controlling every aspect of a person’s life is an easy way to control what they think. Just ask the Chinese.
It’s also about money. Community schools mean more staff. Those staff can be brought into the unions which means more members, more dues, more political clout. Even if everyone doesn’t join the Teachers Union, there will be other unions focused on the staffs of these schools who will join with the Teachers Unions to form affiliations. Each of the Teachers Unions already has hundreds of millions of assets, can you imagine what they will have with community schools?
THE BIDEN REGIME: On July 12, the U.S. Department of Education announced $68 million in grants for Full-Service Community Schools. President Biden has already requested $468 million for the 2023 fiscal year for community schools and has made it clear that an expansion of community schools falls within his socialist policy agenda. (Credit: Keri D. Ingraham and Arina O. Grossu, Washington Times, July 2022)
Biden and his administration have proven over the past two years that they have total disregard for parental rights and are “owned” by not only the Teachers Unions but also Planned Parenthood, Big Pharma, LGBTQ+ Organizations, and other radical left groups. All will have a place in community schools. Remember, it was his DOJ that called parents “dangerous extremists.” When these schools become more prominent, the rights of parents will be eradicated.
The CDC, who recently bungled Covid, are also on board:
It’s not hard to imagine how the big Pharmaceutical Companies will use that connection to find their way into your “community” school. If you read the CDC’s list of 10 components of the Community School involvement, #6 is “Health Services.” Imagine the vaccine and drug coercion that could exist in this environment. (Maybe Dr. Fauci will visit before he retires!) “Family” is tenth in a list of 10.
Think of what a Planned Parenthood office will be able to accomplish in local school.
The parent’s responsibility and rights to provide for and take care of their child will be superseded by a full-service school, making it so easy to perpetrate physical, mental, and social damage without parents’ knowledge. Ultimately, the Communist dream of the child belonging to the state will be true.
And let’s not forget the illegal immigrant voting block that Biden and Dems want to court.
Look at what is going on in Arizona:
Local Management Boards/Agencies: In Maryland, each county has a local management board that controls the planning and implementation of service programs that support youth and families in that community. At its inception these were good agencies that supported all county citizens. Now they have morphed into something quite different, promoting the concept of “systemic racism” and doling out aid on a racial hierarchy. In fact, most of their focus lately has been workshops about race and gender that bash certain races and create victims of others.
Look at number two on this list from a local management board organization:
And they get huge funding to do it. All spent without transparency as dictated by State law:
Here’s the state’s description of local management boards:
The local management board system is already a great cash cow for the counties at the expense of the taxpayers. Imagine what it will be like when those groups officially become part of the local community schools. Like the unions, they will force their agenda on children and families full time and out of view of the parents and community.
And how much will these community schools cost? In FY 2020 there were 219 schools in Maryland designated as “community schools,” meaning they had an 80% concentration of poverty so were provided expanded services. That number increased to 289 in 21-22. It is promised that by 2027 there will be 557 schools that will become community schools. For 2022, the cost will be $116.90 million, a $52.5 million dollar increase over FY21. This money goes toward personnel and contracts for services. If the budget increases by 228 schools by 2027, it will be over $300 million dollars. Don’t let the term “grant” fool you, this is taxpayer money. Remember also who gets to define poverty; the people who create the grants.
It might be prudent to remind ourselves here that school systems and other groups are not very good at management of budgets of this size. During the pandemic, the U.S. Department of Education couldn’t accurately track over $190 billion of Covid support funds sent to schools.
This program won’t be monitored any better, especially with the involvement of Local Management Boards and their networks. There will be plenty of opportunities to award contracts to certain contractors based on social justice objectives and political favor. Fraud will be rampant unless strict audits of budgets are conducted. Can we really count on that happening? If we have learned nothing else during Covid, we have learned that millions of dollars can go missing without accountability
Global Interests: There are international groups who support this concept. The “Global Partnership for Education,” in alliance with the World Economic Forum, United Nations, and UNESCO, fully supports the community school concept. Again, the sooner they get the children, the better for those groups. Here is the Global Partnership list of “health interventions” for kids aged 5-20 in community schools:
The interventions include mental health education and counseling and “comprehensive sexuality education.” Not “sex” education but “sexuality” education. The words are not chosen by accident.
Marxist Authoritarians: This is a rather broad group of people who support community schools. It includes all groups who wish to splinter us by race, gender, economic status, political views, sexual preference, etc. These groups hate this country and try to make some members of the population feel as though they have been victimized by America. For them, the Community School is an excellent way for them to force their lies and beliefs on our children as well as to give some less than desirable people access to kids. In that kind of environment with the wrong people you have a breeding ground for sexual predation and sex trafficking.
As Kimberly Ells exposes in her book, The Invincible Family: Why the Global Campaign to Crush Motherhood and the Family Can’t Win, these forces are joining together to nullify the influence of the family.
Part of the problem with this and many more of these programs is that part of it sounds so good. Who can be against helping hungry kids eat, sick kids get medical care, the unemployed get job training? How can we complain about helping poor kids to achieve? And that’s how they always rope people in and shut people up, with the promised benefits of initiatives. Protest the “community school” concept and you will be called a racist and many other horrible names.
The problem is that this, like all the other “do good” school programs, will not do what they claim because they will have muddied the waters of education and schools with jobs they were never intended to do. Once the waters get muddied, it’s an open door for every grifter, abuser, and opportunist. When things go wrong those in power won’t be accountable or even try to fix the real problems. They’ll say, “If only we had more money, more community schools, more agencies involved, more committees to study issues, we could fix the problem.” It will never be enough because they don’t want to solve the problem. They have other motives. The goal line will always move.
This quote from the Daily Signal article by Ells reminds us why we can’t be lured in:
A 20th-century Russian communist said: “Children, like soft wax, are very malleable. …We must rescue children from the harmful influence of the family. … From the earliest days of their little lives, they must find themselves under the beneficent influence of communist schools. … To oblige the mother to give her child to the Soviet state—that is our task.”
It’s how Hitler did it. How Stalin did it. How Mao did it.
We can’t let them do it here.