Good Evening, and thank you for allowing me to speak to you tonight.
I am here to present petitions to the Board requesting that their approval for the migrant student trip to Washington, D.C., be rescinded. I will present the reasons for this request and Jeff Winthers will then present a solution that we think might appease everyone and possibly be beneficial, both to All our children and the community itself.
There are several reasons for this request. Uppermost in my opinion as a retired nurse is the politicalization of our school system. This is a world-wide problem and has been recognized by the international organization, Save the Children, as increasing at an alarming rate. Since you’ve already instructed Mr. Sanchez to provide extra instruction to these students both before the trip and during the trip before events, you’re aware of the leftest nature of this school. If you feel that these precautions are necessary, then why even take the chance? In addition to Bert Corona’s being a self-avowed communist, the BCLI site shows a picture of Luis Gutierrez, D-IL, teaching a class. He is probably the most radical of all our elected representatives and has been advocating nationwide civil disobedience for the last few years. He is currently pushing hard for Obama to pass Amnesty by Executive Order, circumventing both our Constitution and our Congress. Another is Shirley Jackson-Lee, D-TX, who was caught masquerading one of her supporters as a doctor to push the health care bill. Maxine Waters, D-IL, who flubbed up and stated she wanted to nationalize the oil industry during a Congressional hearing is an honorary board member. All 3 of these are card-carrying members of the Socialist Democratic Party with Gutierrez holding cards for both the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The kids are also taught by representatives from various unions and the National Council of La Raza.
If you’re wrong in believing that these kids can go through this course, be followed by the school for at least a year as the BCLI brochure states while the kids complete “projects” in both their schools and communities and still remain neutral, we could be having the same mass walkouts and protests as other communities in our nation. So, yes, I am afraid for not only these kids but all of our kids. And I’m afraid for our area if all concerned with the BCLI hold Maxine Waters’ viewpoint.
Another area of concern is the 501(c)(3) status itself. There are restrictions for political and lobbying activities under the 501(c)(3). I will provide the board a copy of the 501(c)(3) IRS regulations at the end of this talk. According to the BCLI website, the kids have 2 days of instruction and spend 3 days visiting legislators. There are two pages from the 2008 workbook issued to the students, one of which displays an agenda. This agenda indicates a clearly leftist list of things the students are to discuss with the legislators, which violates the non-partisan provision of their 501(c)(3). By presenting these agendas to legislators, the kids are clearly lobbying and the 3 days is a majority of the course time so the school is once again in violation of their 501(c)(3).
This politicalization, the indoctrination, and the lobbying all present a picture of exploitation and abuse of these children. As an RN, I’m required by law to report it.
Another reason is the expenditure of funds during this nation’s economic situation. I’m not totally against government grants. I have worked for DARPA and several universities where I was fortunate to see the wonders accomplished through grants. I won’t belabor the point, but even though this is a small amount when viewed in relation to the national debt, it is magnified many more times when you consider that this 501(c)(3) designation is funding a plethora of similar organizations who have found the veritable pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The funds are not well supervised and many organizations misuse the funds. Mr. Sanchez said this trip was all free in a newspaper article. I think we all know that federal funds are not free, that they come from the U.S. taxpayer. And I’m an angry taxpayer to find that we have not only paid for the tuition, etc., for these courses but built the schools and continue to do so. National Council of La Raza started 50 new charter schools in one year, some teaching Reconquista even though they say they don’t support Reconquista The BCLI has 10 schools nationwide and more internationally. They also have numerous charter schools. I looked at the score for one of these schools and it had a base API of 650 and a state rating of 2 out of 10. But they get let to go by… from what I could understand because the school provides computers for parents. Don’t you wish your job was as easy as that? These organizations also find ways to contribute taxpayer money to our elected officials to influence who gets elected and what legislation is passed. The research I have done and that others are beginning to do will be turned over to journalists and some other organizations with better research resources, so I imagine we’re going to hear a lot more about this in the future.
The last concern I will present has been difficult to wrap my mind around. I know that all migrants are not illegal, and I know that all migrants are not Hispanic, but common knowledge estimates about 90% are. We’re required to provide a free education for all children grades K-12. Then Texas grants illegals in-state tuition at colleges and universities and withholds what they call a 20% set-aside from their regular students’ tuitions to provide higher education to illegals. And that 20% set-aside was not cut when the rest of our education system was required to take cuts. Do the social studies and government curricula already in place in the district not teach the same information as this specialized program does? I fail to see the equity in sending a select group of students for specialized civic education and to form political connections that are not afforded to the rest of the student body.
Jeff Winthers will now present our possible solution.
Thank you for your attention.
Good Evening, I thank the Board for the opportunity to speak.
You just (discussed) (approved?) the Summer Program for Migrant Students at UTPB. We’ve looked at most of the programs, which include diversity, for migrant students at UTPB. We found none that did not direct the students’ attention to common problems in our community by promoting basic understanding of the cultural differences of all races, and they improved the children’s chances for academic success. If it is necessary to send migrant students outside the regular classroom in order to learn how our government works and how to function within it, we see no reason to not have UTPB, a properly accredited institution of higher learning, apply for their own grant to enable these students to have this opportunity. We have several legislators here locally who would be more than happy to arrange visits to their offices and who would willingly listen to any concerns the students might wish to voice. But if this training is necessary for migrant students, why is it not also necessary for all our other students?
It is also our understanding that ECISD has a full-time employee whose only job is to investigate grants to use and that we pay for her to go to conventions where she is courted by organizations such as the Bert Corona Leadership Institute. If we’re going to pay for a full-time employee like this and make her a Director, and we just MUST spend money like this, perhaps we could have her look for a grant for UTPB to conduct such a class so that ALL our children can attend.
We have several questions at this point. Is this the Federal Director that was referred to in an Odessa American newspaper article on the migrant students back in 2008? Does this position still exist under the recent reorganization? We would also like to know if an organizational chart exists for ECISD.
The FOIA information requested by Faye has been received and it stated that the travel expenses including transportation to and from the airport was paid out of Title 1C funds. The BCLI site states that travel expenses are not paid, but they will be glad to make travel arrangements for a fee. This inconsistency needs further explanation.
Thank you for your attention.