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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Cong. Kline: About That Special Ed Funding? Talk Is Cheap

Category: John Kline
Posted: 08/27/14 11:01

by Dave Mindeman

Congressman John Kline has been talking about the importance of Special Education funding for years.

In February of 2013, a few months after Sandy Hook, Kline talked to some education leaders in Minnesota....

When Kline asked the educators about whether they would prefer to see increased special education funding under the Individuals with Disabilities Act or more funding for new school security measures, all agreed on special education.

"Wow," Kline said. "OK."


Kline was impressed.

In late April of this year, Kline complained to Sec. of Education Arne Duncan about the lack of emphasis on special ed...

"You've got over a dozen new programs ... but you don't have any increased funding that's available for special education?" continued Kline, who has repeatedly attacked the Obama administration on this point.

Yes, Kline talks a lot about Special Education Funding. He talks and talks and talks.

But what do leaders in special ed think of Kline?

Lindsay Jones, who heads public policy for the National Center for Learning Disabilities, said after the hearing that Kline has "historically pushed" special education funding, "yet refuses to support any of the full funding bills that have been introduced, or to introduce his own."

Kline is the Chair of the Education and Workforce Committee. He could, at any time, propose Special Ed Funding. He could recommend full public funding of these programs. He could, as a committee leader, push it to the floor and demand a vote.

But he doesn't.

He just talks.

Congressman John Kline could do something about this issue he supposedly cares so much about, but talking is cheaper. Much cheaper.
comments (1) permalink

#FlipADistrict - Kline Looks Out For the University Of Phoenix

Category: John Kline
Posted: 08/16/14 18:33, Edited: 08/16/14 18:38

by Dave Mindeman

Here is an interesting factoid.

The University of Phoenix spent $154.5 million for 20-year naming rights for the stadium home of the NFL's Arizona Cardinals.

The interesting part is this: The University of Phoenix is an online university and does not participate in intercollegiate sports.

So why the big bucks? So they can recruit students and get them to use their student loan money at their online school.

So, what do they get in return?

The University of Phoenix campus in San Diego has received $95 million in GI Bill payments since 2009. That is more than any other college campus in the entire country, exceeding what the entire University of California system with its 233,000 students receives, compared to a campus of just 6,686.

The state of California has taken notice:

The fact that a college with such a poor graduation rate and uncertain job prospects for graduates is getting such a windfall has not gone unnoticed at the state level. California has banned the University of Phoenix from enrolling veterans in seven of its programs after an audit determined they already comprised 85% of the student population.

However, under pressure, the VA moved to lift the ban citing new information from the college. "CalVet considers the matter closed," Deputy Secretary of the California VA Keith Boylan said in a statement.

Must have friends in high places?

Well, they do.

Federal lobbying records show that the Apollo Education Group (parent company of the Univ of Phoenix) has spent $4.8 million since 2009. Since Kline became chairman of the education and workforce committee, Apollo has been his largest campaign contributor, dishing out $48,100 in contributions since 2011.

And why, you may ask, do they need this kind of help?

Phoenix is almost completely dependent on federal money. For the 2013-2014 fiscal year, over 90% of its revenue came from the federal government in the form of student loans, grants and GI Bill and DoD education funding. Combined with the 83% of its total funding that is received through other federal education programs, this would put Phoenix well over the 90/10 rule if the GI Bill and DoD spending were counted in the mix.

An attempt to make that 90/10 rule apply to GI student loans was brought forward in the House Education and Workforce Committee....which would have forced the Univ of Phoenix to be in compliance with Fed regulations on graduation rates.

But this attempt was gaveled down as non-germane and out of order by the chairman of the committee - Congressman John Kline.

Just like the naming rights for the stadium, it is money well spent.
comments (2) permalink

#FlipADistrict: Oust Kline - Not Just For The 2nd- For Everybody

Category: John Kline
Posted: 08/11/14 08:35, Edited: 08/11/14 08:38

by Dave Mindeman

When Bill Maher named John Kline as the first of the "flippable four" finalists in his #FlipADistrict campaign, he described him this way...

From Minnesota's Second District, give a nice Real Time welcome to Congressman John Kline, the first one of our final four!.... The kind of guy who when people say, "Why doesn't anything get done anymore?" This guy! And ones just like him, that's why!

Now if we, in the 2nd District, were the only ones concerned about John Kline, I doubt that our misery would be enough to put Kline on a national stage. But it wasn't just local....Kline has a "national" reputation for his legislative obstruction and ideology.

What propelled Kline onto Maher's radar was studentdebtcrisis.org. Once they began their campaign, Kline's notoriety became national. And why are they so intent on bringing attention to Kline? Because they have a personal stake. Congressman John Kline has been the biggest obstacle to solving the student debt crisis. He has protected the For-Profit Colleges - the biggest contributors to our massive student debt. He promotes policy that has actually increased student loan interest rates. And he oversees national education policy with a right wing outlook and as an object of obstruction for reform.

John Kline deserves his new found fame as a #FlipADistrict contender. The whole idea is to change Congress into a working institution again and flipping the 2nd District in Minnesota is a big first step.

If you are InKlined to DeKline the 2nd, then add your Twitter voice to #FlipADistrict.
comments (0) permalink
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