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  • Education Pork: Congress Funding Classrooms (and Apartment Complexes) to Nowhere

    Heritage’s Brian Riedl published a new web-memo today examining the earmark projects in the Pork-filled Omnibus bill that’s being rushed through Congress. Riedl reports that the bill: “Includes approximately 5,224 earmarks, bringing the FY 2010 total to 8,939, with a pork-laden defense bill expected to push the final total over 10,000.”

    Parents and taxpayers who are concerned about the condition of American education may be interested to review some of the large servings of pork that will be dished out by the Department of Education next year. (You can review the list of projects funded in the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations legislation in the Omnibus here. The Department of Education section starts on page 91.) The following is a list of some of the interesting education-earmarks:

    • Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa appears to have secured lots of pork for the Hawkeye state. The largest earmark is $7.3 million for the “Harkin Grant” program which subsidizes school construction and modernization.
    • The Utah-based “I Won’t Cheat” Foundation for anti-steroids education receives $250,000.
    • The Lincoln Center in New York City receives $800,000 for a jazz program.
    • South Salt Lake City, Utah receives $100,000 to expand ESL classes at the Villa Franche apartment complex.
    • The Rodel Foundation of Delaware gets $150,000 for its Parent Leadership Institute.
    • A dropout prevention program in Scottsdale, Arizona gets $150,000.
    • College football fans will notice that there is even some BCS-pork in the Omnibus. Fans at Boise State and the University of Iowa can celebrate $465,000 in education earmarks at their bowl games this year!

    Of course, members of Congress will be quick to defend the merits of many of these earmark requests. But if the Department of Education’s mission is to improve education for all American students (particularly at-risk student groups), does it make any sense to distribute federal dollars this way? After all, why should the Des Moines school system receive $750,000 for a preschool program while most school districts receive nothing?

    At the end of the day, American children are going to be the ones paying for Congress’s wasteful spending, given our ballooning budget deficit and long-term debt-burden. If Congress is going to be spending their future earnings on Department of Education programs, shouldn’t they at least spend it fairly and in some coherent manner?

    Posted in Education [slideshow_deploy]

    16 Responses to Education Pork: Congress Funding Classrooms (and Apartment Complexes) to Nowhere

    1. Bobbie Jay says:

      What merits? the "I won't cheat" program need not exist. If someone is busted they pay the consequence. People learn by enforcing the rules.

      $800,000 for a Jazz program? The members should be paying for it and creating their own business, too "special" of an interest. .

      $150,000 for "Parent Leadership?" If parents don't have the mind or reason without having it paid by others, they shouldn't be parents or pay for it themselves. Start a talk show.

      "150,000 for "drop out prevention?" Education is the will of the student. The students will, should be inspired by his educators and parents, already! Otherwise, students choice and responsibility.

      $100,000 for "ESL!" There is absolutely no obligation of the people to be accountable for this expense. It was once commendable, but now it's being taken advantage of. If immigrants want to communicate, they can learn on their own, family, friends, acquaintances or pay for it themselves. It's also, bias and racist employment.

      This excuse to spend wastefully on these needless programs just seems a suspicion of conditioning the mind discreetly, losing or never gaining ones sense of accountability or self reliance.

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    4. ejj, fort worth, tex says:

      A balanced-budget amendment to U.S. constitution, along with a line-item veto amendment, would end most of this madness.

    5. Stirling, Huntingdon says:

      It's amazing the spending. If the states actually funded their own programs (rather then have the federal government pork projects) these programs probably wouldn't happen or be scrutinized more for actual ROI. The whole idea of "free money" has messed up any chance of having things work correctly. How can the education system really work correctly (funding wise) if there is no accountability attached to the funding.

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    10. Tim Az says:

      When your goal is to collaspe the free market system. You have to rat hole the money somewhere. Why not to your freinds so you can get some returns on it later?

    11. MrShorty, Arizona says:

      It's so easy to spend other peoples money. Perhaps when the well dries up or greenbacks become devalued down to toilet paper, the people will begin to realize that you can't have everything you want.

      Where is Obama's committment to "no more entitlements" !!

    12. Medina, Fl. says:

      We citizens who are being ripoff by the way our taxpayers dollars are wasted by thugs elected to the administration. We should get together to sue them for their inability & irresponsible way they are abusing their power to pay favor to those who elected them to their seat to power. They took an Oath of Office and it means nothing to them, while enriching themselves and their friends. Meantime we are taxed to the limit so they can have a lavish life, a real bank account, while we are struggling to survive and take care of our own family needs. Time for justice and Clean House of these selfish-greedy-incompetent group of spoiled so called "leaders", who are just pleasing their own clan, while we have to pay for it. Please remember them on the next election day!!!

    13. Normca says:

      When Senator Mitch McConnell develops pork; the crowd like Beck & O Reilly [with their big egos] who say Republicans and are no different than democrats are correct. Senator – you are disgraceful. Majority leader, huh.

    14. Jerry from Chicago says:



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    16. Joe Scovel, Salt Lka says:

      I am reading your report and I noticed a $100,000. grant for ESL classes at the Villa Franche Apartments in South Salt lake City. Also there is a hyper link directly to the advertising page of AMC the apartment management company that manages the Villa Franche. Where can I find out more in re the $100,000. earmark, to whom did it really go to and for what? Thanks and keep up the good work Joe Scovel 1-801-680-1338

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