Petty House Leadership Pees on Disabled Children & Others [UPDATED]

Oftentimes trapped in schools that do not have the ability to meet their needs, disabled children fall further and further behind than they should. Eric Johnson proposed an ameliorative solution to the sad state of affairs in educating disabled children — vouchers for the mentally or physically disabled school kid to afford to go to a school that can better meet his or her needs.

The legislation is broadly popular among parents with special needs children. It passed the Senate with votes to spare. It was embraced by the House.

But now the House GOP Leadership is going to kill it in the Rules Committee along with Charter Schools reforms.

They are also going to kill any other legislation championed by Casey Cagle, Tommie Williams, Jack Hill, and Eric Johnson. All of it — killed.

Why?

Because the Georgia Senate beat the Georgia House at the budget game. The House got embarrassed and wants revenge.

Today, the Senate Rules Committee considered 11 House bills and passed out all eleven. The House Rules Committee considered only 4 Senate bills and blocked them all from going to the floor, claiming that if the sponsors weren’t present, the bills would not move.

Now, to be fair, a House source tells me the Speaker in Caucus this morning said to go full steam ahead. A couple of House guys tell me that while the Senate is purportedly passing House bills, they are stripping everything out of the bills except the title and substituting their own versions. The House guys deny that there is an effort underway to take revenge.

Given, however, that I have three Senate sources, one general legislative source now, and two reporters all telling me the House is getting its revenge by killing pet projects of Johnson, Cagle, Williams, Hill, it seems very likely that this is, in fact, happening.

[updated] A significant House staffer confirms that the House is killing certain projects favored by the Senate GOP Leadership. The staffer says it has more to do with the Senate stripping House language from House bills and inserting Senate language than it does with the budget, but does admit that the budget has a lot to do with it. The staffer also is a bit disturbed to hear one of the House GOP leaders say that tax cuts for property tax owners was bad policy.

43 comments

  1. Skeptical says:

    Man, watching the GAGOP sling mud at each other is more fun than a barrel of monkeys! I need some popcorn.

    Also, they should all be ashamed of themselves for denying mentally and physically disabled school children a better education.

  2. tony r says:

    So cagle cheap shots the house, is publicly scolding them and getting outside groups to attack them while he’s offering to spend 10s of millions on projects in a compromise, and now people are shocked that the house doesn’t want to move senate legislation?

    I’d be mad too after his stunt!

    At some point will the gov please step in and make all these ridiculous children get along?

  3. Doug Deal says:

    You know BK, you Dems would have more ground to stand on if you actually weren’t just a different shade of the same color.

    This behavior, that we get from out representatives, is probably what we all deserve. Until we demand more from the people we support than the people we oppose, it will stay this way.

  4. Harry says:

    I suspect some of the GOP House members are under the thumb of the Georgia Association of Professional Educators who would be happy to see the educational reforms go away.

  5. Demonbeck says:

    Thank goodness we’ve got Operation Rolling Thunder to keep us from harming ourselves like this. Perhaps the legislature should pass some laws to keep them from behaving irresponsibly.

  6. GAWire says:

    Overwhelming GOP majority can learn to work with each other. Why am I not surprised?!?

    … business as usual in the Legislature.

  7. Nicki says:

    I’m glad to see the bill killed, regardless of the reason. It offered inadequate oversight, was costly to public schools, and proposed to take an action that wasn’t proven to actually be a solution. May it rest in peace.

  8. Demonbeck says:

    Costly to public schools? It actually saves public schools money.

    How can the action be proven to be a solution without implementation of the idea?

    Did you go to public schools or do you just teach at one?

  9. Nicki says:

    Did you go to public schools or do you just teach at one?

    Neither, other than attending K through mostly 8. You just make this stuff up, right?

    And what’s confusing about costing money? We allocate money to vouchers and they’re not going to our schools. Period. Unless there’s some magic money that can be both spent and kept.

    How can the action be proven to be a solution without implementation of the idea?

    You assume it is a solution. However, I don’t think it is. And regardless, the way to find out isn’t by using students as guinea pigs by leaving their educations in the hands of private providers who are not required to meet the same standards as public educators.

  10. Demonbeck says:

    1. Between Federal, State and Local spending, we allocate far more than $3000 per student (especially regarding special-needs students) in this state. Giving them $3000 to go to a private school decreases the amount of money that would have been spent on that student and allows it to go elsewhere. It actually saves the state money.

    2. I never said this is the solution, but you state that this bill allowed the state to “take an action that wasn’t proven to actually be a solution.” I asked how can the action be proven to be a solution without actually trying it at some point? Believe what you want, but private educators are required to meet and surpass the same standards as public educators. The very existence of private schools in a free market relies upon it.

  11. dingleberry says:

    With idiots like Glen Richardson, Earl Erhart, and Ben Harbin running things, what did you expect. Honestly, the only thing I can equate these three to are the three stooges. Except, when the three stooges do stuff, it’s funny. When these three do stuff, it’s tragic and embarrasing.

    HEY ERHART, I KNOW YOU READ THIS SITE SO PAY ATTENTION VERY CAREFULLY. I might need to draw this out with magic markers so it’ll be more on your level, but here it is:

    No one is buying the House’s Bulls*** on this. You and Glen and Ben call yourselves “conservative”. You’re full of sh**. I’ve always known it, but now everyone else knows to. I can’t wait until the next election, because your a** is gone!

  12. Demonbeck says:

    So what you are saying is that “other than attending K through mostly 8,” you did not go to public school?

    Apparently my question wasn’t clear enough.

  13. Icarus says:

    You shouldn’t be picking on her Demonbeck, you should be congratulating her for almost finishing the 8th grade.

  14. Demonbeck says:

    She should love me, I’m trying to help people like her and Mad “Danny Boy” Dog get vouchers to go to private school.

    Oh I am going to hell for that one.

  15. Demonbeck says:

    I actually feel bad for saying that.

    I apologize to all the mentally and physically disabled children in Georgia for lumping them together with Nicki and Mad “Animal” Dog.

    That was low, even for me.

  16. Nicki says:

    Your lack of civility is low, Demonbeck — I won’t fall to your level. Not least of which because your cheap shot indicates that you lack an argument that stands on its own merits.

    The very existence of private schools in a free market relies upon it.

    No, actually, it doesn’t. The market merely relies on there being consumers for a product — it does not assure a consistent level of quality in the product without oversight/external pressure. There are any number of private schools which do not provide a quality education — and this bill provides an incentive for more to be created and maintained on public dollars.

    And I won’t even get into how effectively the amount suggested addresses the needs of the students, which students will benefit, or any of those other silly things.

  17. Erick says:

    Dingleberry, I may disagree with the House’s stance, but Ehrhart is a good man who deserves a modicum of respect even here.

  18. eehrhart says:

    Thank you Eric,

    Just for informational purposes I am sponsoring a breakfast tomorrow for SB10 and HB 400 advocates and House members. We are flying in several experts to talk with House members about the efficacy of these bills both of which deal with school choice for disadvantaged and disabled students. I am the sponsor of HB 400

  19. eehrhart says:

    Erick,

    Just a procedural note with respect to House Rules. Representatives and Senators have to present their bills to the committee to have them voted on. This is a long standing practice going back as long as the 20 years I have been here.
    Only two bills were asked for today and one was placed on the calendar. Yesterday not one Senator asked for a bill. I truly do not know why they are not asking for their bills. The other is a very good propostion and will surely pass before the end of the session.

  20. Bull Moose says:

    Well, I guess we know who won’t be elected Governor in 2010.

    Also, I’ll say it, House Republican incumbents need to be defeated through primary challenges this upcoming election cycle.

    Heck, I’ll go one step further, if I lived in a district represented by a House Republican, I would run against them or help whomever chose to run against them.

    First it was a pork laden budget that had a lot in common with Washington DC Republicans and now it’s blocking all Senate legislation – regardless of merit.

  21. EducationMan says:

    This year the legislature should pass SB 10, HB 400 and, heck, tack some good charter school provisions onto HB 559 (state board can approve charters and improve operational funding for start-up charters).

    If not this year, when ????

    Strike a blow for better schools while the iron is hot.

    To repeat something i posted a few days ago–to say that the House Leadership is not conservative is really a joke. They voted to limit peachcare to those most in need and to stop class size reductions in high school (no evidence suggests cutting high school class sizes will improve anything)–together these save taxpayers over $100M per year forever. Will the conservatives in the Senate support the bills that provide these budget savings?

  22. Ben Marshall says:

    The Senate is not stripping house language and inserting Senate language. That is a lie. The Senate is amending house bills to add Senate bills. There’s a big difference in that

  23. Doug Deal says:

    eehrhart ,

    A lot of people give you and others from the legislature a hard time here, but you have earned my respect by participating in this forum.

    Too many politicians want controlled anticeptic environment. It is truly refreshing to see a few that aren’t afraid to discuss things directly with constituents.

  24. Demonbeck says:

    “The market merely relies on there being consumers for a product — it does not assure a consistent level of quality in the product without oversight/external pressure.”

    Clearly, you have no idea what a free market is, because you could not be more wrong.

    External pressure to keep a consistent level of quality in the product is provided by competition. No one is going to pay good money to their child to a failing school – unless they have no other choice (see public schools.)

    A free market demands good products for good services and good prices.

    I don’t want to make Baby Jesus cry, but this is important.

  25. Nicki says:

    You may consider it important, but it is not true.

    The private market is adequate incentive for most schools to perform. However, there are examples in every state of private schools that do not address the public’s need for a well-educated citizenry. This is a public good, since an educated citizenry is more empowered to participate in every sphere of public life, to obtain better jobs, and to enjoy greater health. This is why there is no substitute for adequate oversight.

    A free market yields what the market will bear. It does not necessarily yield “good” if the market does not demand it. And it may not, depending on what providers are located within the market.

    In education, this may mean an educationally rigorous school, but it may also mean a school that has inadequate educational instruction but offers other intangible benefits — religious instruction, for example. Or simply an environment in which the students are demographically less diverse. To assume that the private market always creates an academically superior product for each child is to assume that the consumers do not have motivations more significant than education — and we know that’s not true. But as a state it is not our responsibility to do anything other than assure the education of our students.

    This is an issue in particular because the bill creates an economic incentive for creation of new schools, and yet places no provisions in place to assure that either established or new private schools are providing an education which is educationally adequate. As a taxpayer, I believe it fails to provide adequate accountability. And I see no point in subsidizing private education over public education if we are not assured that it is an effective investment in the education of our students. Anything else is a poor use of our resources.

  26. Demonbeck says:

    I disagree with most of what you say, but this takes the cake…

    “This is an issue in particular because the bill creates an economic incentive for creation of new schools, and yet places no provisions in place to assure that either established or new private schools are providing an education which is educationally adequate. As a taxpayer, I believe it fails to provide adequate accountability. And I see no point in subsidizing private education over public education if we are not assured that it is an effective investment in the education of our students. Anything else is a poor use of our resources.”

    Since the proof of Georgia private school graduates receiving much higher marks on average than public school graduates is not sufficient to you, you claim that private schools don’t have enough oversight and accountability to provide an “educationally adequate” education.

    Your solution is to continue the system as is, even though this debate was brought about by the lack of an educationally adequate education offered by the public schools of this state.

    The point in subsidizing private education over public education is because private education facilities have proven to work much better than public education facilities. If you cannot see or admit that, then your entire argument is based upon your political leanings or some fantasy world.

  27. Nicki says:

    Since the proof of Georgia private school graduates receiving much higher marks on average than public school graduates is not sufficient to you

    Yawn. False causation alert. Private schools students receive higher marks for reasons that are not, as you assume, an inherently better educational effort. They are largely the result of the self-selection of a better class of student (those able to afford private school and commit to attending it) and the ability to deny entry. It is analagous to comparing the animals in an open-admission shelter and in a no-kill — they are not the same population because one simply does not accept hard cases.

    Your solution is to continue the system as is, even though this debate was brought about by the lack of an educationally adequate education offered by the public schools of this state.

    My solution is to come up with a plan which is viable, guarantees educational quality, and provides the best value for the state of Georgia. Your choice is to champion a patronage system as a solution when it is likely not one, and on my taxpayer dime.

    …your entire argument is based upon your political leanings or some fantasy world.

    Let’s be clear here. A fantasy world is one in which the vagaries of the free market combine to primarily deliver something other than a healthy profit margin for every economic beneficiary. Why are you so afraid of accountability?

  28. Nicki says:

    And I consider the education of the children of this great state to be very important.

    Yes, well, we don’t disagree on that.

  29. Bill Arp says:

    Well well…look at ol Booby Kahn had to spout out again. You have been quiet for some time and it looks like your party is making some gains. Take some advice…get your own blog…no one likes or heeds your comments here…..Trust me booby if you had won a campaign this century maybe someone would be talking about you…..now they just call you booby an laugh….what a joke you have become….

  30. Demonbeck says:

    Nicki,

    Only one party has put forth a plan. The Democrats are just preaching to “stay the course.” They don’t want us to “cut & run” on the teacher’s unions.

  31. Holly says:

    Oh, Demonbeck, we talked about this already. . . There are no teacher unions in Georgia. PAGE and GAE are associations , as we’re a right to work state.

    Admittedly, GAE is affiliated with NEA, but it doesn’t have the union strength that NEA affiliates in the north and west have.

    Trust me, you’d know it (and hate it) if GAE were a real union.

  32. Demonbeck says:

    OK, fine, They don’t want us to “cut & run” on the teacher’s associations that act strangely like unions but technically aren’t in Georgia.

    Happy now?

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