Monday, August 27, 2018

Back to school again

Worcester went back to school today, marking my thirteenth year as a Worcester public schools parent. Yes, your math is correct; that means we have a senior in the house.
What it has meant to my kids to be WPS students will be up to them to tell; what it has meant to me is a sort of high-stakes road not taken. What if, instead of attending the budget meeting that was about our soon-to-be-kindergartner's elementary school closing, we'd decided to move to some nice calm place where they don't have budget battles?
One can only wonder.

I was thinking of this again today as On Point talked about the recently released study about the impact--or rather, lack thereof--of private schooling on student outcomes. What they found was:
Results from this investigation revealed that in unadjusted models, children with a history of enrollment in private schools performed better on nearly all outcomes assessed in adolescence. However, by simply controlling for the sociodemographic characteristics that selected children and families into these schools, all of the advantages of private school education were eliminated.
This has of course been directed as an argument against private school vouchers (which of course it is), but it's also more evidence, not that schools don't matter, but that early development in children and the resources devoted to them then and throughout childhood make the bigger difference. It's the books we read to toddlers and the music lessons we give to elementary school kids and the trips we take high schoolers's resources devoted to kids as they grow.
Now, maybe we can't make up all of the difference through public resources, but right now, we aren't even trying. What support do we offer families before their kids turn four? We have the highest average cost of childcare in the country. We have among the lowest rates of children attending preschool in the country. We do have health care--and don't get me wrong, that's big--but we have this huge gap in what we do to ensure kids get what they need to be successful across the board in life.
And then once they're in school, what do we do for kids? Are we ensuring that kids ALL have access to the sorts of things that wealthy families do for their kids? Paul Reville's right about this much: it's about the rest of the time. And note that those families are not, in the main, spending that time (and money) on what we think of as "academics" (let alone test prep, save SATs once we get there); they spend it on sports and dance and instruments and museums and concerts...and the list is nearly endless.
What are we doing about that? Often, they're what have to be cut when the school budget is, if those items were in the budget at all. It's what "over foundation" or the fundraising advantages of a well-off PTO can make all the difference.
Among the difference between the have and have not districts is things like field trips (school budgets may still cover them in towns that can afford them, or the schools can safely assume most parents can) and band (it's a scheduling hassle as well as expensive for someone to buy instruments) and "extras" like dance (not core, right?). It seems clear that it is there among the extras, rather than in classroom, that the gaps really grow.
As much as this all seems pretty hopeless, though, I know we can do better. As I started writing this tonight, it was to the solo opening of the below. And the kid playing it has only had lessons that the Worcester Public Schools gave her as part of her free public education.

Monday, August 20, 2018

"Unfortunately, neither of them works"

MLB catcher and hitting coach Charley Lau on the two theories on hitting the knuckleball. 

...nor do the theories on minor league stadiums bringing in tax revenue.

For example:
A large body of academic research has found that despite optimistic projections of the economic impact of stadium subsidies, subsequent analysis indicates that they have little to no effect on the local economy and the economic well-being of nearby residents. 
"A Case Study on Stadium Benefits"

...any economic benefit a city sees in shelling out for a minor league stadium is largely imagined. Examining 283 minor league cities from 1985 to 2006, she noted that even Triple-A towns that saw modest increases in per-capita income didn’t see enough of a bump to cover stadium expenses. Also, while those towns sometimes see small increases in rent as a result, the combination of all the added residual income still isn’t enough to warrant the public outlay.
"How Minor League Baseball Struck Out with Taxpayers"

 Cities keep trying, but the economic stimulus provided by pro sports teams—the parking lots full of out-of-state license plates, the overflowing restaurants—is more anecdotal than real. 
"The Braves Play the Taxpayers Better Than They Play Baseball"

Professional sports can have some impact on the economy. Looking at all the sports variables, including presence of franchises, arrival and departure of clubs in a metropolitan area, and stadium and arena construction, the study finds that the presence of a franchise is a statistically significant factor in explaining personal income per capita, wage and salary disbursements, and wages per job. But this impact tends to be negative. Individual coefficients, such as stadium or arena construction, sometimes have no impact, but frequently indicate harmful effects of sports on per capita income, wage and salary disbursements, and wages per job.  
  "Stadium Boondoggles Spread to the Minor Leagues" 

And (UPDATE, as this looks specifically at the Worcester deal):
After the announcement by the city and the team Friday of their signing a letter of intent to build a stadium in the Canal District, WBJ sent copies of the financing details to 10 economists and stadium experts around the nation to gauge whether Worcester's claims over the stadium development paying for itself – without the need for current tax dollars – would come true.
Of those experts, the only one who spoke positively about the deal was the Smith College professor who was hired by the city to judge the economic viability of the offer to the PawSox. The rest doubted the stadium-pays-for-itself claims would come to fruition.
"There's just mountains now of economic evidence that the payoff that's promised and what actually happens is far different," said Joel Maxcy, an economist at Drexel University in Philadelphia.
"Sports economists: $101M WooSox Stadium Deal Unlikely to Beat the Odds"

All of the above have extensive links to further research to the same ends; I haven't cherrypicked these. 

Note in the above, by the way, that parallel to the claims being made in Worcester, the tax revenue increase coming from offshoots of the stadium does not pan out. Let's agree, therefore, that, claims aside:
Worcester officials promise no existing city tax revenue will be used to fund the ballpark project. Instead, the city will create a District Improvement Financing District around the park and ancillary development. According to a fact sheet on the new park, new taxes and other revenue from within the district will pay for financing.
In 2022, the first full fiscal year of operation, Worcester official project they will owe $2.9 million on an overall $100.8 million loan. But they’re anticipating $3.7 in revenue from the development, operating at a surplus of $741,000.
On the revenue side, state tax gains are projected at about $2 million annually from income tax, and food, beverage and hotel taxes.

...Worcester, and its taxpayers, are on the hook for this stadium. The $100M in bonds have to be paid regardless if the projected funds come in.

However, the $100M loan for this stadium is not all that the city has planned.

This is on top of the $194.6M that the City Council authorized for the new South High back at the end of March. Remember, in contrast to earlier projects in Worcester, the state through MSBA is only reimbursing 55% of the costs of the new South, due to increases in the per foot cost of building. Thus over $100M of the cost of the new South will be covered by the city.

This is in addition to a Doherty High project that has yet to find a site and has yet to receive state approval as to its plan, but will be at least as expensive as South (more, if the City has to fund land for the project). It will similarly be a lower reimbursement rate--it isn't as though costs to build have any prospects of coming down over the next several years--and thus a similar amount=--$100M--covered by the city.

The acquisition of this debt in concert with the federal administration's decisions around imports led to a discussion at Worcester City Council the first week of March.
Mr. Petty said maintaining the city’s infrastructure is equally important, but there is a limit to the amount of money the city can borrow.
“Hard choices will have to be made,” he said. “Where do we put the money? Do we put it into the school or do we put it in somewhere else? Infrastructure is important, too. The finances of this city are the most important thing we do; everything goes from there. A balanced approached will be needed when it comes to paying for these big items. Some tough decisions are going to have to be made.”  
And Worcester has a third high school not mentioned above that has yet to even be accepted into the MSBA pipeline: Burncoat, which is (as the state has acknowledged) in worse shape that Doherty and would need to be a middle/high project, given both the proximity and condition of the middle school. While Burncoat could follow the North and South building staging (building a new building on the athletic fields while the old building remains in use; taking down the old building and reconstructing the athletic fields), it is the arts magnet and a 7-12 building has different requirements.
Figure at least another $100M.

Finally--and most disturbingly to me--no one is making any plans at all regarding the $70M in "urgent" (having to do with life or safety needs) repairs the spring Facilities Master plan reported out. While the report was made at a joint subcommittee meeting with City Council, it's not clear that the report has been taken up either by the city administration or by the school administration in discussions with the city. Those are basic systems repairs at schools that, come a week from today, we'll once again be sending 27,000 kids to.

I realize that it is much more fun to smile at press conferences where everyone is clapping than to ask how we're going to meet basic functions of municipal government like providing schools in decent repair. It is the job of an informed polis, however, to ask how we continue to run our municipality for the benefit of our actual residents.
It is for the latter that we elect City Councilors.
And School Committee members, for that matter.

Worcester School Committee meets Thursday (and staff reports)

Worcester School Committee meets Thursday, August 23, the same day that staff reports; school starts Monday in Worcester.
On the agenda:
Mr. O'Connell has a motion to reconsider adding genetics, military service, mental illness, and sexual harassment to the non-discrimination policy in the handbook. Since legal non-discrimination policies are tightly managed by the state, I'm not sure where this one is going.
There are recognitions (Congratulations, Mark Brophy!) and congratulations.
There are a series of responses to budgetary motions.
There are a series of responses--names and numbers--which don't have public backups (do share!).
The strategic plan is back on; is this just a regular item now? I guess that means that anyone can show up and any meeting and address it.
Administration wants to change the Accountability subcommittee to "Standing Committee on School and Student Performance" (Is that better?)
The annual closing out the fiscal year (making account transfers) item is on, 'though the backup is not.
Miss Biancheria is asking for an update on the Facilities Master Plan and on the accelerated repair projects. I'll do a full post on this, but if the School Committee is doing its job, the city's sudden ability to borrow millions of dollars for a minor league stadium when they haven't had enough to do school maintenance ought to come up. Watch and see if it does. 
Mr. O'Connell wants JROTC to raise and lower the flag in Hope Cemetery.
Mr. Comparetto wants to add public comment to the agenda; wants to create a Public Policy Forum; and requests a report on site councils.
Administration is coming in with a proposed absentee policy which jumps right to truancy without working with parents or the community, written in language that, particularly in an immigrant community, is incredibly draconian.
There's updates on policies (coming from MASC) on JFABE - Education Opportunities for Military Children; JFABF - Education Opportunities for Children in Foster Care; KI - Add the section on Outside Agencies in Schools; and adding "pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions" to the various non-discrimination policies.
It appears the dust-up in the home schooling community over the new leadership refusing plans and threatening families with truancy has reached the School Committee level, as there's an item on that.
The Committee is being asked to approve the MAPLE grant for $47K for the three day MAPLE event (which I think already happened) and the Parent-Child Home Program) Family Child Care Quality Grant for $50K for early learning specialists to visit home child cares.

There are a series of prior fiscal year payments:
  • $2,330.58 to the MTA for the printing of the Unit A Collective Bargaining Agreement.
  • $29.98 for in-state travel reimbursement for a teacher.
  • $189.31 for in-state travel reimbursement for the Manager of Curriculum and Professional Learning.
  • $1,500.00 to the Grenier Company for services rendered in FY18.
  • $22,426.60 for the LIUNA Pension Fund.
  • $767.05 made payable to a teacher at Burncoat High School for a hotel reimbursement to attend the Advanced Placement Summer Institute which was held in Fairfax, VA in FY18.
There are a series of donations: 
- to support the Exhilarate Worcester Initiative at Woodland Academy: - $875.00 from various donors
- $125.00 from Flying Dreams Brewing Co, Inc.
- $250.00 from Coghlin Services Fund
- $500.00 from Cornerstone Bank
- $500.00 from Bollus Lynch, LLC.
- $120.00 from Basil & Spice, LLC
- $100.00 from Engineering Design Services, Inc.
- $500.00 from Mackintire Insurance Agency
- $500.00 from Rigali Roofing and Exteriors
- $250.00 from Seder & Chandler, LLP
- $125.00 from Smokestack Urban Barbeque and
- $250.00 from Tierney & Dalton Assoc., Inc.
- $250.00 from WEDF to Burncoat Preparatory Elementary School
- $7,684.80 from Clark University to support the purchase of Chromebooks at Claremont Academy

There is an executive session at 6 for two negotiations, two grievances, three workers' comp cases, deployment of security, and...
To discuss a potential lawsuit against the Commonwealth for the purpose of fully funding the State’s Foundation Formula Budget.

Monday, August 13, 2018

School-level spending is coming

You may well have already caught this, but one of the provisions of ESSA is that districts now have to report school-by-school spending to the state (and release it publicly). States have been wrestling with how to make that happen, but it starts this school year. There's a decent EdWeek Q&A on this which raises some key points on how this might be messy.
We haven't yet seen how DESE will report this in Massachusetts, but there's been work going on to clear and clean up reporting to them by districts. But, as I said, this may be a bit messy.
Interesting that some states may require parental donations; Massachusetts is not, but my, wouldn't that be interesting!

Don't forget Doherty

Hey, remember how Doherty was approved by the MSBA board back in February to move to Feasibility in terms of renovation or replacement?
Have we heard a single solitary thing about that?
What's interesting about Feasbility is that during this phase, the district must:
...document their educational program, generate an initial space summary, document existing conditions, establish design parameters, develop and evaluate alternatives, and recommend the most cost effective and educationally appropriate preferred solution to the MSBA Board of Directors for their consideration...
And in doing so, they will have to submit to MSBA a list of the public meetings they've had (check the Local Actions and Approval letter).
It's that "develop and evaluate alternatives" that should be of particular interest. The district is required to consider renovation on site; the default Worcester has always previously used has been taking more parkland; we've been told that won't happen.
And there isn't a lot of of unused, unpreserved open space within the Doherty quadrant.

Worcester has tended in the past (as we're currently seeing with the PawSox) to be very quiet behind the scenes talks until the public is presented with a fait accompli of sometimes dubious, sometimes zero merit.
It would be very good if we didn't see happen with Doherty.
And those of us who remember Tech would prefer it didn't involve lawsuits, either. 

Friday, August 10, 2018

Summer Worcester schools questions

Questions that have floated through my head this summer...

  • Are we ever going to find out if Hanover really did make a donation to the much-heralded "gifted" middle school program at Burncoat? It hasn't shown up anywhere that I have seen. How much was it and what was it spent on? And was it a one time thing?
  • Speaking of donations, there was much ado, of course, around how the proposed strategic plan was not done within the Worcester Public Schools. The moment it was proposed, though, it became a donated service, and that donated service has a value. We ought to be seeing a public donation come through.
  • Worcester was among the districts announced this week as receiving part of the state early college high school grant. This is good (particularly, if you read that release, that the students are going to be supported), but this is hardly alone in college things offered to high school students in Worcester. Having seen this at close hand, Worcester really needs a better central (open all summer) clearinghouse for this information, which specifically spells out how it works, who it's for, how many kids can do it, how much it costs, and so forth. There are opportunities lost by those who can't chase around from office to office for information, and guidance offices are very uneven.
  • This article today on how we really don't know what AP courses are doing to and for students reminded me again of how Worcester has totally put all of its eggs in the AP basket, and has done so while not funding the AP tests and not know what it does to students long-term. 
  • And speaking of things we aren't thinking long term about, this massive article on the fear-based industry of school security reminds me that lack of basis for Worcester's training has never been adequently explained or dealt with. 
  • I mentioned last year that after having years of continued insistence by some members of the Worcester School Committee that there had to be public involvement in the process of hiring principals, those members seemed not to care anymore. Add to that now multiple rounds of postings for schools and lack of applicants, something which--if you follow school districts--is not happening elsewhere. This is a basic management function of the superintendency, and it's concerning to see the holes in school-based leadership. 
  • I generally don't opine on logos--my tastes run to simple, time-worn, clearly labelled, non-trendy--but the possible issues over the proposed change in Worcester are something I can appreciate, as someone who taught Shakespeare to high school students. Note that it was clear from the presentation given to the School Committee in July that this was a professional consultant job, so let's not put the kids in the middle of it. That would be a good thing to have  a price tag on, too, as I can't figure out where in the budget they put it. 
  • I know we're not concerned with school levels anymore, but has anyone gotten an update on if Elm Park Community is ever going to get out of Level 4? All of Worcester's prior experiences with Level 4 have been successfully completed much more quickly than this.
  • And since we aren't going to worry about levels anymore, what are the chances we can hear something about what the new acccountability system is going to look like here? Beyond, one imagines, continuing to send parents charts on attendence, is there going to be any shift in emphasis? Any changes?
You didn't hear it from me, but the high school schedules are up (I'm told the posted middle school schedules aren't necessarily final), and if you google your bus route, you just might find it. 

As always, if I get any answers, I'll let you know! 

Speaking of race and power

...I'm looking forward to this book coming out later this fall from Eve Ewing, on the Chicago school closings.
CPS may insist that the past has no impact on the present, but Ewing says otherwise—while the closures might not seem racist to the actors, they “were the culmination of several generations of racist policy stacked on racist policy, each one disregarding, controlling, and displacing black children and families in new ways layered upon the callousness of the last.”

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Ah, Boston

Photo via Wikipedia Commons; jug is in the Worcester Art Museum
For why see:

Boston, I love you, but you sometimes drive me straight over the edge.
I see the updated version of the Boston Globe's "everybody is angry with the House" article includes this:
It remains unclear what role Boston’s concerns about the bills factored into the stalemate. Representative Chynah Tyler, a Boston Democrat, said she could not support a bill that pumped millions into other systems but would shortchange Boston. 
“I am concerned that several schools in my district that are currently failing our students, including Madison Park Vocational Technical High School . . . would not have received the resources for those schools to move beyond the category of failing,” she said in a statement.
Please note that I am not particularly singling out Rep. Tyler here ('though she is the only one arguing against the bill in the article), as her sentiment is not that uncommon (and it used to be more common).
I'm not going to get into Madison Park here--Madison Park is complicated!--beyond noting that there are lots of vocational schools operating with substantial urban populations that aren't seeing the same difficulties as Madison Park. (As I've said in the past, I'm not going to hold Worcester Tech up as a model to follow here, because I don't advocate for moving to admissions requirements due to their incredibly segregationist outcomes.)

The notion that Boston is somehow being "shortchanged" by the funding system is the issue we need to tackle here, and that's going to involve a bit on how this all comes together.

There's a decent chance you've seen one of these before; this is the Boston Public Schools FY19 foundation budget spreadsheet. This is the calculation of how much it costs to "adequately" (scare quotes intentional) fund the education of the children in the Boston Public Schools.
You can always click on these to make them bigger.
The argument for Boston usually goes something like "Boston Public School students have a lot of needs. Many of them are poor, many are learning English, and many need additional helps." Since Madison Park is cited, we can also add "and vocational education costs more money."

All true. All also included in the calculation of how much the Boston Public Schools need to run for next year: 63% of BPS students are economically disadvantaged, and there's additional funding for that (all the way over on the right). The new ELL model with a range of additional funds is in the pink in the middle. And vocational is just to the left of the heavy black line; BPS is serving 1371 vocational students, and that is calculated in.
Yes, the Boston Public Schools have high need kids! AND the Boston Public School students' high rate of need is included--just like every other district in the state--in their foundation budget! We entirely acknowledge that in the calculation.

Now, set that aside and turn the page, because now we have to come up with that $861,999,612 that the Boston Public Schools need to run next year.
That would be this series of calculations which asks and answers the question: how much of that can the city of Boston afford to fund itself?
Boston is a wealthy city. The kids who attend the public schools are not, as a group, wealthy, but the city is wealthy. While the city is no longer number one in income inequality--it's number seven--those at the top are still making 15 times what those at the bottom are making.
Thus the city of Boston, with $145 billion in property valuation (FROM ACTUAL TAXES in 2016, so, no, the non-profits don't count against you!) and $433 billion in income (2015, again, actual revenue numbers), can afford to spend--by the same calculation they use for every community in the state--$961M on schools, in that green box above...
...which you might note is more than the foundation budget for the Boston Public Schools next year.

So, one might ask, why is are the Boston Public Schools getting any aid at all?
Well, because everyone does; the target is for every district to get no less than 17.5% of their foundation budget in state aid.

But that isn't all Boston--and lots of other districts--get.

If all Boston was going to get was that 17.5%, next year the state would kick in $150M (see the green box) next year to funding the Boston Public Schools.
But last year, the state contributed $218M towards the Boston Public Schools (check the top left line). And nobody wants to tell their constituents that they're getting less aid than they got last year.
So Boston not only gets the $218M from last year again, they also get an additional $1.9M in a minimum aid increase.
In total, then Boston gets $220M in state aid through Chapter 70, of which nearly $70M is not foundation aid.

  • The Boston Public Schools serve many kids with many needs, which is included in their foundation calculation. 
  • Boston can afford to fully fund its schools by the same state formula as everyone else.
  • Boston gets 17.5% of their school budget in state aid, anyway, like all other wealthy communities.
  • In addition to this, Boston gets hold harmless and minimum aid increases, so everyone gets more than they did last year, regardless of need.
  • Next year, that aid totals nearly $70M.
Again, I don't say this to spot anyone in particular: Boston has a lot else going on, with where schools are and aren't, and which kids go where, and hidebound historians watching every move. And it's clear to me that from the ground up, what sounds like a lot of money is instead resulting in budget cuts at schools.
I also know it's a whole lot easier to yell at the state than to yell at the city. 
When we're talking about OUR money and how best to serve ALL our kids, accuracy matters.
Let's be accurate about Boston. 

UPDATED TO ADD: But what about the Foundation Budget Review Commission? Wouldn't it hurt Boston?
Well, if by "hurt" you mean "would require that the city spend more on their schools by increasing the foundation budget," I guess. Boston doesn't immediately get additional aid in an implementation of the recommendations, since it already gets so much hold harmless aid. It would have to eat through all of that before it gets more aid.
Boston already spends well over foundation on its schools, however: the BPS budget for FY19 is $1.1 billion. There's about a hundred million in transportation in that (that's outside of foundation), but even so, we're looking at spending towards foundation that, while it's bounced around a bit, is generally over ten percent.
(I'd like to look at how Boston spending over foundation compares with districts comparable in their wealth to schools ratio.)
So, no, unless you object to the city possibly having to spend more on schools OR on Boston not just getting a boost in state aid "because," implementing the Commission's recommendations doesn't hurt Boston (or its schools). 

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Ongoing failure

...the good work begun by the education reform act of 1993, and the educational progress made since, will be at risk so long as our school systems are fiscally strained by the ongoing failure to substantively reconsider the adequacy of the foundation budget.
The Foundation Budget Review Commission conclusion, 2015

And so the "ongoing failure" continues.

The best coverage this morning comes from Max Larkin of WBUR (having dedicated education reporters is GOOD!), but I'd also read Shira Schoenberg at MassLive (quickest off the mark last night!) and the combined efforts of the State House News Service reporters via The Lowell Sun.

A few things to note: the statement issued by Rep. Alice Peisch on behalf of the House conferees repeats the argument that they need to be able to tie funding to particular places:
Note the careful language: the House conferees aren't dedicated to additional funding; they're dedicated:
to ensuring that additional funding in the FY20 budget to support our ELL and low-income students is based on careful analysis that will ensure funding is directed to support the schools, classrooms and students who need it most.
It appears the belief is no, we can't trust district administration and school committees to do that; they need to be directed.
If you'd like to know, incidently, what districts with high need populations do when they receive funding to support those populations, please note what Fall River voted to do with their hurricane relief funds last night.
This misses--at this point, it's difficult to see it as anything other than intentionally--that funds for English learners and funds for low income students haven't kept pace with need. We know this. There is a hole in the services being provided to those students. Or if there isn't a hole in providing for these students--remember how this works--funding has been shifted from other areas that will then need to go back to those areas. This is why I keep tweeting out charts from districts: some holes are different!
And that's why, no, the state doesn't get to decide this, because districts have done this differently.
As I pointed out earlier this month, this was an extensive discussion at the May 2015 Foundation Budget Review Commission meeting as they wrapped up their first round of conversations; after hearing from districts, the Commission DID NOT tie additional funds to anything other than reporting. The House members are refighting a battle that they lost when districts were at the table.

Elsewhere (this is in both the Sun and WBUR), the House throws DESE under the bus:
Peisch, a Wellesley Democrat, issued a statement on behalf of the three House conferees, saying new information from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education "complicated" negotiations and "the exceptionally complex nature of recalculating various increments to the formula as we traded proposals." 
Look, I'm there for calling DESE out when they screw up or make things unnecessarily difficult. If the House received "new information" from DESE this week, I'm going to make an educated guess that they only asked for particular calculations to be done sometime in the past few weeks, as opposed to, say, anytime in the past THREE YEARS the report has been out (or the seven since Cutting Class). Your deciding you'd like some model that hasn't been previously considered to be done now is not DESE's fault. And if the House hadn't waited until the last minute to pass a bill, "the exceptionally complex nature of recalculating various increments to the formula" would also have had more time.
In any case, none of that was news to anyone paying attention.
And it's not okay to attack bureaucrats who don't deserve it, because they can only fight back by making your life quietly miserable.

We get some insight into what broke negotiations from Senator Chang-Diaz's statement:
"House leadership rejected all our offers [and] moved the goal posts" would seem to mean that House leadership wasn't even negotiating under the bill the House passed. Not only would that not be negotiating in good faith; it wouldn't appropriately represent the interests of the House as passed in the bill. As the WBUR article puts it, the House leadership went so far as "rejecting one of its own proposals to kill the bill." 

Yikes. I'd be interested, then, in what all the House members who signed onto the full implementation budget amendment think of their leadership this morning. A quick look at the #FBRC hashtag on Twitter this morning shows a lot of constituents with strong opinions.

I don't have a witty or snappy closure this morning. This is on the House: not just on leadership, but on all those who supported leadership.

It's the "various orders of the people" who are let down by this: the poor kids, the kids learning English, and yes, kids of color. It doesn't just reflect badly on the House; it reflects badly on us all that these kids are ones we've decided can be sacrificed for political expediency.