Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Editorial -- Stop the Mudslinging in MO Senate Race

The mudslinging in the Republican Senate Race is getting out of hand to the point where Todd Akin is devoting a good chunk of his front page to what he says are the lies and distortions of his opposition. But none of this does any good in helping people decide who the best choice should be. The one thing that will help undecided voters make up their minds is where people stand on the issues. For instance, Mr. Akin makes perfect sense when he talks about how No Child Left Behind is a disaster for public education:

Education of children is best left to the wisdom of parents, teachers and the taxpayers of local communities. The intrusion of the federal government into the education of our children pulls needed funds from our communities to Washington, DC, and yet returns only a fraction of those funds back to our schools. In fact, in retrieving those apportioned funds, local communities must agree to Washington’s terms to get their own money back – those terms are largely unfunded mandates which put further burdens on our schools and teachers, and as those mandates strain budgets, a greater burden is then put on the taxpayer whose money went to Washington in the first place.
We need to return local control to our schools. In 2001, I opposed my own party when I stood in opposition to President Bush's No Child Left Behind Act.
My party had strayed from its principles in seeking to expand the federal reach into our classrooms. The bill before me lacked needed reforms to provide increased flexibility for local schools, educational choice, and consolidation of existing federal programs. Instead, it was a 1,000 page bill with over 2,000 directives from Washington, D.C. for states, school boards, teachers and parents.
Currently, schools spend countless hours meeting over burdensome federal regulations in order to receive money that is less than ten percent of their overall budget. It is time to end Washington’s trend as “Federal Superintendent of Education” and give control and funding back to the States and local school boards. In short, reducing excessive federal regulations will make more dollars available our local schools, and allow those who actually interact with students to focus spending where it is most needed.
This is the sort of thing which will help voters decide one way or another when they enter the voting booth. In that regard, we had an interesting interview with one of the other candidates, Mark Lodes, which we will publish in the July 11th edition of the Sheridan Express. He is not your typical political candidate; he has an independent voice and has a lot of interesting ideas to revive the dormant economy. Stay tuned.

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