This is not a political post. This is an “I am passionate about education and kids” post. I am an independent and selfish voter. Meaning I vote based on candidates views on issues important to my life and my family.
I was in my car the other day listening to the White House press briefing from Mick Mulvaney about the proposed budget cuts.
As I was listening to the piece there came a point where I almost drove my vehicle off the road. Mulvaney was speaking about proposed cuts in the HUD Department by way of block grants being defunded.
Block grants are provided to states to fund programs such as school based free meal programs and other services to special citizen groups such as Meals on Wheels. The states decide how to use these block grants; so the federal government’s claim is that they technically are not defunding the programs – but rather the block grants. Spin zone.
Mulvaney said, “They’re supposed to be educational programs, right? Guess what? There’s no demonstrable evidence they’re actually doing that. There’s no demonstrable evidence they’re actually helping results, they’re helping kids do better in school.”
He went on to say, “The way we justified it was: these programs are going to help these kids do better in school and get better jobs. And we can’t prove that that’s happening.”
My mind was blown. Clearly Mulvaney has never set foot in a public school where there are high numbers of students on free and reduced lunch.
Well… I have. I lead one of those schools. I see it every day.
When he spoke about “demonstrable evidence” – I am left to wonder what he is looking for? Did we (the United States) begin feeding students at school because we thought that it was going to increase test scores? (which there is research to back – but I digress)
How about the fact that regardless of test scores – there are students in this country that are fed by our federal government through their public school. For many, this may be the only meal that they get. We are looking at defunding this type of support – because there is no demonstrable evidence that shows it works!?
How about the real fact that millions of students are served each day through our school breakfast, lunch and after-school programs – their only source of food.
I ask Director Mulvaney to really think before he speaks. I would challenge him to visit any of the Title I schools in DC and speak with the students whose only source of food come from those schools. And, I recommend he brings Betsy DeVos along for the visit.
This is an issue that we need to challenge. I would recommend that you call your Representative and/or Senator to ask them to challenge this thinking.
To find your Senator or Representative please visit: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials
To Director Mulvaney… #Shame.
Michael Meechin, M.Ed.
Michael Meechin is a high school principal, writer and speaker. Mike works with schools and districts by providing grassroots professional development, high impact speaking topics, and consulting services on education reform initiatives. For more information check out our Work, or Contact Us.