Recently, Congress stated that tomato paste, the basis of any good pizza, qualifies as a serving of your daily vegetables. Apparently, there is no need to eat your broccoli and carrots anymore, pizza will do just fine. Congress is taking the easy way out in finding healthy school meals that satisfy the regulation on the amount of vegetables served at lunch, while also saving the nation a few bucks.
School lunch lines bring to mind trays filled with cheeseburgers, chicken fingers and french fries, so as we quickly approach 2012, isn’t it our job to change the menu for the better? This is the government’s golden opportunity to influence how students eat for the rest of their lives. Giving them options like pizza and french fries gives the false impression that tomato paste and starchy-potatoes are good choices to fulfill that daily vegetable serving. Incidentally, the tomato is classified as a fruit.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued new guidelines and revisions for school lunches in early January. They proposed to increase the availability of fruit, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat milk, among many other things.
The pizza-loving lobbyists were left enraged and, according to The New York Times, spent $5.6 million lobbying against these new regulations. It’s understandable that organic and whole-grain foods cost a pretty-penny but it’s no reason for Congress to turn its back against the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s regulations.
It’s embarrassing to see our government scrounging around for extra money instead of bettering our society by feeding children healthy, satisfying meals. Well fed and healthy students will always one-up the ill-fed students, who’s stomach are filled with pizza — er — I mean vegetables.
Who wants to eat celery, green beans and brown cardboard-like bread when one could settle for pizza and french fries that now satisfy the daily dietary requirements? Clearly, Congress is only looking out for our taste buds and the bottom line rather than our weight, sodium intake or health. Is it not clear to them that obesity is a rising epidemic? The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that approximately 12.5 million children between the ages of 2-19 are obese. That’s clearly a problem, and giving them the not-so-healthy options at lunch doesn’t help at all.
Yes, foods that lack essential nutrients are cheaper and make it easier to feed so many hungry mouths, but the end result needs to be acknowledged as well. We say it’s okay to feed children chicken nuggets and french fries now, but what happens when the weight gain starts to set in or when diabetes diagnoses run rampant? Congress’s attempt to be frugal in these hard times will result in ballooning childhood obesity that will blow up in their faces.
The Governor bravely introduced his resolution to rescind Common Core Standards and explained his position as one having to protect the state from federal encroachment. However, Randy McKinney introduced a substitute resolution which affirmed the resolution passed in November 2010 by the State Board of Education. Although it does nothing to extract us from CCS and its implementation will cost the state hundreds of millions to implement, Mr. McKinney's resolution passed six to three.
Governor Bentley stood firm and did not waiver in his position to rescind the CCS resolution. He presented his resolution with heartfelt passion and great resolve. Stephanie Bell and Betty Peters have spent untold hours gathering information on Common Core Standards so their understanding of these standards was crystal clear. They have tirelessly fought this battle with steadfastness and great intensity. To Governor Bentley, Stephanie, and Betty, we offer our sincere gratitude.
Thank you for your phone calls, emails, letters, and personal visits to the Governor and BOE members. Although the resolution to rescind Common Core Standards did not pass, it was quite evident you made a huge impression. It was stated by one of the BOE members that he received so many calls and emails that it was impossible to answer each one. Once again, CHEF's constituents came through and we are most grateful.
We are very thankful that The Home School Legal Defense Association will continue to monitor the effects of CCSSI on all states and will work to protect the freedom to education our children at home.
In this Thanksgiving season, we have much to be grateful for. The privilege of educating our children is one we should never take for granted. Just this past week, we received a prayer request from homeschool leaders in New Jersey stating that "NJ is about to be hit with a Bill that would make NJ the worst state to homeschool in. If this Bill is introduced and passed, we will have gone from the easiest state to the worst. We would ask for your prayers as we deal with this."
We also received a prayer request concerning the country of Bulgaria. A new piece of legislation is being considered that would grant state and social workers the right to intrude on family life and values, and impose state-directed recommendations which parents will be obligated to follow or be punished in the form of fines, loss of their children, and/or imprisonment.
So, as we gather with family this Thanksgiving, let us be especially thankful for our right to homeschool and pray for that right to continue, offering special prayers for these two recent requests.
CHEF of Alabama
Initial Posting, October 12, 2011:
Common Core State Standards Initiative
I have received several inquiries about this subject including an invite to a Facebook Page stating the following:
THE ALABAMA STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION VOTED TO ADOPT COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS ON NOVEMBER 18, 2010, OPENING A DOOR FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO ENTER AND DICTATE WHAT YOUR CHILDREN LEARN IN THEIR PUBLIC, RELIGIOUS, AND HOMESCHOOL CLASSROOMS.
WE HAVE ONLY A BRIEF WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY TO STOP THIS ENCROACHMENT UPON OUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO CHART THE COURSE OF OUR CHILDREN’S FUTURES BY KEEPING CONTROL OF THEIR EDUCATION AT STATE AND LOCAL LEVELS. After reading information, scroll to “TAKE ACTION”.
The threat to our freedom and influence originates in the 2009 Stimulus Package by offering grant money to the states IF they adopt common standards in math and English. But there are a multitude of strings attached, and this is only the beginning…
Read more here.... including ways to take action.
In response, I sent a note to HSLDA inquiring about the potential hazards of the Common Core State Standards Initiative to homeschoolers. Below is the response I received copied and posted with the permission of HSLDA Attorney, Darren Jones.
Dear Ms. Spradlin,
It is definitely a concern, though not as directly as some people might think.
1. HSLDA has always been firmly opposed to the Common Core State Standards Initiative. See http://www.hslda.org/docs/news/201003310.asp, http://www.hslda.org/docs/news/201006180.asp, and http://www.hslda.org/docs/news/201008050.asp.
2. The CCSSI was adopted in Alabama in November of 2010, so this isn't really a new development, per se.
3. The adoption of the CCSSI in Alabama does not, at this point, change the legal requirements for home education in Alabama, as summarized on our website at http://www.hslda.org/laws/analysis/Alabama.pdf.
Should you have any further questions or comments, please do not hesitate to send me another email or give me a call.
Legal Assistant to Dewitt T. Black, III, Esq.
Home School Legal Defense Association
Phone: (540) 338-5600
Fax: (540) 338-1952
The information contained in this email is or may be attorney privileged and confidential information intended only for the use of the individual or entity named above. If the reader of this email is not the intended recipient, or the employee or agent responsible for delivering it to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. Due to the nature of email, there is no guarantee that this message has not been edited after receipt.
Please note that all info is provided as an FYI only. All information was current when posted, but as you know, things change and folks forget to tell me. If you find a link that is no longer valid, please contact us so that the information can be updated.
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