September 04, 2005

NEA chides "unfunded mandates"

The National Education Association, the nation's largest teacher's union, constantly rips the feds (George Bush, in particular) that the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law is an "unfunded mandate." I have a problem with unfunded mandates myself, and I'm not going to address the particulars of the NEA's gripes against NCLB. But if the NEA is so concerned about such mandates, why does it constantly pass resolutions such as these:

B-19. Education of Refugee and Undocumented Children and Children of Undocumented Immigrants. The National Education Association believes that, regardless of the immigration status of students or their parents, every student has the right to a free public education. The Association further believes that students who have resided in the United States for at least five years at the time of high school graduation should be granted amnesty by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, granted legal residency status, and allowed to apply for U.S. citizenship.

Arizona and New Mexico have recently declared states of emergency because of major problems with illegal immigration. States in the southwest continually decry the fact that they must pay for the education and healthcare of illegal immigrants -- out of state coffers. But illegal immigration is a federal matter. The feds certainly aren't doing much about the border, so if they demand that states pay for illegals' education and healthcare, they ought to provide the cash, right?

Unfortunately, the NEA has an obvious problem reconciling this philosophical conflict. It wants the feds to pay for NCLB, yet at the same time wants illegal immigrants granted the same "right" to education as citizens -- a "right" that states must for. An "unfunded mandate." Of course, the NEA could come out and say that the feds should pay for these illegals' education in those states (or, at least give the money to the affected states). Wisely, it hasn't done so (explicitly, yet).

Posted by Felix at September 4, 2005 09:08 AM | TrackBack

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