Head Start and some funny money business makes the news….

….but not too much news.   That theme is the gist of this piece at Big Government by Robert Bluey a couple of days ago.   An undercover investigation has unearthed proof of major scams on-going with the program and Bluey argues that this should be as big news as the ACORN scandal has been.

Arguably, the Head Start scandal deserved front-page headlines on newspapers across America last week. Outrage over ACORN centered on the group’s taxpayer funding. The total amount of federal funds that flowed to ACORN was about $53 million dating to 1994.

Head Start, a Great Society program created in 1965 for low-income children, received $9 billion — yes, billion — in appropriations and stimulus funding last year alone. Over the lifetime of the program, it has cost taxpayers more than $150 billion.

There are more than 3,300 Head Start programs operating in America, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. A government-funded impact study criticized the effectiveness of the program earlier this year. Given the cost of the program and the group of people it primarily serves, Head Start deserves some much-needed scrutiny.

Read the whole Big Government article.

Until a few years ago, I never gave Head Start a second thought and in the back of my mind I assumed it was run from government offices at the state level, but apparently not so.   Again, at least in the case I’m familiar with, it is one of those programs that is run with taxpayer money passed along to unaccountable non-profit groups (I loathe this concept of public-private partnerships!).

What got me thinking about this a few years ago is that the Virginia Council of Churches quietly began resettling refugees in the county where I live (that, by the way, also was the genesis of this blog) and in the course of researching who they were, imagine my surprise, when I learned they were almost completely funded with tax dollars.    The biggest portion of their income comes from Head Start.   See this pie chart from their 2007 annual report.  (Incidentally, this is 2010, what is taking them so long to put up more recent annual reports?).

In 2007, almost 58% of their funding came from Head Start.  And, do you see that 17.5% from Church World Service, that is really your tax dollars passed through from the federal government to Church World Service to Virginia Council of Churches for refugees.    The Episcopal Migration Ministries money is also likely passed through from the Feds.  Add up the other pieces of the pie and it looks to me that only 2% of their income comes from other sources and the church. Readers should know that there is virtually no federal financial auditing of this federal money and since Virginia Council of Churches claims to be a church, they don’t file a Form 990 with the IRS that I have ever  been able to find.

And, this is interesting, they do their lobbying through something called the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy.

On matters related to public policy in Virginia, the Council of Churches works in special cooperation with The Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy. Each year, the Council considers the legislative agenda that is developed by the center and upon action of the Coordination Cabinet of the Virginia Council of Churches, endorses and supports the agenda.

I sure hope none of your money (for refugees or Head Start) is passed through to promote “social justice” political causes!

For your serious consideration—-Head Start is grabbing young minds early.  They’ve gotta separate kids from parents, that is the clear agenda of the Far Left!

Teachers in Lewiston school to be moved out because test scores are below average

O.K. sounds like your standard public education problem—test scores are low, teachers blamed, feds want changes and have offered money to bring “change” faster.  But, what is the whole story?

We have written many many times about Lewiston, Maine a city coping with the joys of diversity and multiculturalism.  Here is a story yesterday (to add to our growing Lewiston archives) from the Sun Journal entitled, ‘Longley school staff sad about changes.’  Hat tip:  Susan

…. “it’s very sad here now,” said veteran school secretary Pauline Valliere. “Everybody’s bonded together. There are close relationships. … It’s being broken up.”

Longley is one of 10 Maine schools offered federal money to improve persistently low test scores. Longley could get as much as $2 million to try to improve its test-score standings.

But the money comes with a catch: Grant providers want dramatic improvement and change. Half of the school’s teachers, and the principal, have to go.

Half of Longley’s 20 teachers will be transferred to other Lewiston schools this fall; 10 other teachers will be assigned to Longley.


The changes have some Longley staffers feeling bruised. They’re worried that new faculty may not understand their students.

Who are their students?

An estimated 96 percent of Longley students qualify for free and reduced lunches; the state average is 42 percent. Situated in the city’s poorest neighborhood, for years many Longley students began kindergarten already academically behind youngsters the same age in other neighborhoods. In recent years, Somali families have moved in, which means 62 percent of the students are learning to speak English.

Another telling sign is that at Longley there is no parent-teacher group. “We can’t get parents to come in,” said secretary Valliere.

Students don’t speak English and parents are not involved with the school, so what are a new principal and a bunch of new teachers going to do about it?  One solution is a longer school day.   Oh, brother!

Help is needed, Hayes (Linda Hayes who works in the cafeteria) said, but she questioned what any teacher could do when her sixth-grade class has 26 students, half of whom cannot speak English well enough to learn their lessons.

The Longley plan in the grant application proposes to boost student learning in part through longer school days and a longer year for students who need more learning time.

There is something missing here.  This doesn’t make sense.  What will a new bunch of different teachers be able to do?  Unless the entire school becomes a school for foreign students, the American students will still be held back in classrooms dominated by immigrant/refugee students.  Test scores cannot improve under those circumstances.

Last month I told you about DeKalb County, Georgia which has a whole separate school for immigrant children, here.  But I wonder about that too.  Didn’t we long ago make separate but equal schooling illegal?   Are we returning to that?  I have to admit I don’t follow the trends in public education since my family left the public school system going on two decades ago for homeschooling and private schools.

My advice: get out of the system— homeschool your kids (it is not that hard) or find a good and affordable private school.

For new readers, more Somalis are on the way:

The US State Department has admitted over 80,000 Somali refugees to the US (this linked post continues to be one of the most widely read posts we have ever written) in the last 25 years and then in 2008 had to suspend family reunification because widespread immigration fraud was revealed through DNA testing.  That specific program has not yet been reopened (that we know of), but will be soon.

Nevertheless, thousands of Somali Muslims continue to be resettled by the State Department as I write this. We recently learned that we will be taking 6000 Somalis this year from one camp in Uganda and as many as 11,000-13,000 total from around the world.

Through the Refugee Resettlement program alone 2141 legal Somalis have already arrived in this fiscal year (2010) as of April 30th with an unknown number arriving through other legal programs and  illegally across both our borders.

Former Congressman issues another call for moratorium on immigration across the board

We reported in April that former Virginia Representative, Virgil Goode, had called for a moratorium on all immigration.  Today at Frontpage magazine Goode repeats that call.

If we really want to put Americans back to work, we need a moratorium across nearly all categories of legal immigration. A moratorium will free up jobs for American citizens, reduce the stress on social services, and allow the immigrants already here to assimilate.

The only people who will lose out from a moratorium are the ethnic interests who want new constituents and the business lobbies who want cheap labor. Unfortunately, both political parties are more concerned with the well-being of these special interests than the well-being American citizens.

Read it all!

Stimulus money to be used to pay rent for refugees

Refugees (and others living in poverty) fearing eviction in Georgia (or unable to pay utility bills) will soon be able to dip into funds set aside by Congress in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 originally promoted by the White House and Congress as a jobs creation bill.   We all thought we were going to be fixing bridges and such.

In a memo dated May 19th, Georgia’s Commissioner of the Department of Human Resources, BJ Walker, announced the funding availability under the Georgia Fresh Start Program.

The Georgia Fresh Start program is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) and is designed to assist low income families with a specific critical need. This program is being piloted in 13 metro Atlanta counties, Augusta and Columbus through partnership with the United Way. The program will be active statewide as of June 7, 2010.

Fresh Start is a short-term crisis oriented benefit that will provide a one-time assistance payment for needy families to get the caught up on past due shelter and/or utility expenses, or assist them with move-in costs associated with renting a new dwelling. The maximum payment per family shall be up to $3000.

I didn’t find much about the program on-line except this United Way notice to come and get your money.  Regular readers know I hate these so-called public-private partnerships.  If the government is giving out money, then the government should be administering it, not the United Way (what will their cut be?).

If you would like to learn more about this new program, contact the Georgia Dept. of Human Resources (in Atlanta) directly at 404-651-8409.

Other states are probably getting this “crisis” program going too.   Of course, it will once again just postpone the hard decisions that must be made at the federal level about how many refugees we admit to the US in an economic recession.

Go here and see that we are right on target to bring the highest number of refugees to the US since 2001 (before 9/11 when the numbers dropped precipitously).