Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Did Gilbert Baker Lie To Constituent in Email?

In 2003 Senator Gilbert Baker Told Constituents No school K-8 Would Be Closed

By March, 2006, 45 School Campuses Closed, 20 of them Elementary

Almost 12,000 New Education Jobs Have Been Added Since 2000
(See Baker's original email below)


From: Baker Gilbert [mailto:BakerG@arkleg.state.ar.us]
Sent: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 7:51 AM
To: C L Steplock III
Subject: RE: Long Bus Rides in Arkansas

Any plan that would realign districts would always, I repeat, always keep K-8 schools intact.


Gilbert

These are the types of things that turn people off Republican establishment candidates. Was Baker just lying to his constituents or had he read the law to which he was referring in his email? All those fighting consolidation and who sent thousands and thousands of emails and came to the capitol by the bus loads knew what it meant.

And guess what! The bill never used the word "consolidation" in the text of the bill, just like the global warming SRC12 that Baker co-sponsored did not use the words "cap and trade." Baker also denied vehemently that the Resolution he co-sponsored is not a "cap and trade" resolution. But if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, then it's a duck.

Surely Baker knew what the consolidation bill meant because later he voted for every consolidation bill that went through the Senate and actually co-sponsored the failed SB758 to consolidate schools under 1500. He voted for closing isolated districts (which put many kids on the bus for 3 1/2 hours a day after voting for a bill the year before that passed on the basis they would not close isolated districts.

Baker also voted for countywide school districts, SB132 of 2005 (supposedly administrative only but the wording in the bill clearly gives authority for countywide school districts - this bill did not get out of the House committee but will be back around). Baker also voted for the Omnibus bill that implemented No Child Left Behind in Arkansas that took over the school curriculum and used the word consolidation i 31 times. They are still using this Omnibus bill to close down schools every year. (By the way, the Omnibus bill never mentioned the words NCLB either, but ADE Director Ray Simon introduced it to the State Board as the law that implemented No Child Left Behind in Arkansas.

The consolidation bill was sold as a way of saving money by cutting out some administrators like superintendents and by eliminating some teachers who had extremely small classes in the smaller schools.

Now we know the real results. According to Democrat Gazette Article, 4/11/2010, "Also, the state said, there has been an increase in public school employees, who do not show up in the total number of people employed by the state. Thanks in part to the state spending heavily on public schools, payrolls - teachers, district staff and co-op employees - increased from 58,227 jobs in 2000 to 70,051 in 2009, up about 20 percent, Leathers and Terry said."

So they cut out about 60 superintendents and added almost 12,000 other new education employees. That sounds like the government, doesn't it? http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2010/apr/11/activist-group-blasts-growth-states-hires-20100411/ Link to Dem Gaz article.

Why do they need so many new positions in education? It takes a lot of bureaucrats to control the school systems. It takes numerous employees to check on the teachers' lesson plan books across the state, on all the courses schools are offering, and see that every rule of the Arkansas Department of Education is followed - so they can close the school down if a school fails to meet one of the government requirements. And how much do you think it cost the state when the state government takes over a school?

Furthermore, in the same session Baker and others voted to consolidate schools under 350 and tried to consolidate schools under 1500, they voted to give $107 million dollars to Arkansas Department Education for 32 new employees, etc. The legislature supposedly consolidated the schools to save money by hiring fewer superintendents. $22 million paid the salary for every superintendent in the state in 2003, but this $107 million gift to ADE would pay for 1,070 superintendents at $100,000 for a year.

For a list of all the schools that have been closed, see this link: http://www.wpaag.org/Consolidation%20-%20List%20of%20campus%20closing%202006.html

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Note also that we have made no improvement whatsoever in education. The only tests students do well on are the benchmark test developed andmanipulated by the Arkansas State Department of Education. On the national NAEP tests the scores have not improved significantly; our Remediation rate is still way higher than the national average, students pass AP courses at a lower rate than the rest of the nation, etc., etc. Just a waste of money.

The real agenda was to gain government control of the curriculum so they could teach the liberal agenda in the schools.

Of course, many legislators were snookered and didn't know what it was all about, but it is their responsiblity to learn. They received plenty of emails trying to point out what was happening but they wouldn't listen so they still bear the blame for it.

6:23 PM, April 13, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gilbert wouldn't tell a little fib, would he?

8:12 PM, April 17, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Might I add this....
Everyone has read in the papers where there has been no significant changes in our literacy rates. Well, "Little Willie" Baker co-sponsored the legislation to consolidate schools with enrollment of 1500. That being said, the current law 'Act 60' is forcing Weiner School District to close, based on its arbitrary number of 350. We exceed that number in the 4th quarter, however, they fought us on legislation to include that number also. Our seniors this year, had the #1 public school literacy rate in the state, based on the 2009 Benchmark Test. We are being forced to annex with a school that has had a 20% literacy rate. Ours is 85%proficient/advanced. Baker stands on higher education, yet he is taking Arkansas backwards! He is out of touch with reality and out of touch with Arkansas!!!

2:17 PM, April 18, 2010  

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