Saturday, August 05, 2006

Stop the 65% Deception

Right-wing elements in Ohio are pushing an education plan called the "65% Solution." A more apt name would be the 65% Deception. The 65% Deception, of which Secretary of State Blackwell is Ohio's leading proponent, requires that school districts spend at least 65 percent of their total budget on "classroom" expenses. While that might sound good on its face, the devil is in the details:

  • The 65% deception uses a decades-old formula that counts athletic equipment-- but not teacher training, libraries, nurses, or school lunches-- as "classroom expenses." It's a definition that makes no sense, and won't do anything to help students learn.

  • The 65% deception does not include any additional funding for needy school districts. Already struggling schools would be forced to cut funds from vital areas.

  • One-size-fits-all schemes like the 65% deception undermine local control of schools and fail to account for the individual needs of school districts.

  • 65% is a number that comes from nowhere. Research shows no relationship between student performance and any percentage of spending on "classroom expenses."

We are pleased to announce the release of a new resource for public education advocates in Ohio. Stop the 65% Deception! A Toolkit for Ohioans Who Care about Public Education is the first in a new series of special reports addressing threats to America's public school system. In this kit, you will find an analysis of the policy implications of the 65% Deception, information on the right-wing effort behind it, and the facts, figures, and messaging points to aid you in your activism.

The toolkit was created as a resource for you, the activist, to help you educate your community about the latest right-wing scheme to undermine public education. Read it, pass it on to your friends, and use the information to write letters to the editor of your local paper to call Secretary of State Blackwellto task for his support of this irresponsible measure. Ask candidates for office, on both the local and state level, where they stand on the 65% Deception.

Careful people supports school reform proposals that are honest, effective, and research-driven; these include proven solutions such as decreasing class size, increasing parental and community involvement in schools, and expanding professional development opportunities for teachers. The complex problems facing our schools require more than bumper sticker solutions.

See the toolkit at

Thank you for your help in the fight against right-wing efforts to weaken public education in America!

-- Your Allies at People For the American Way

(Thanks to Mick Gallagher.)

No comments: