- The Washington Times
Thursday, November 7, 2019


Sen. Kamala Harris, the California Democrat who wants to occupy the Oval Office, has proposed building her own school-to-prison pipeline and she wants you to pay for it.

Yep, in an effort to woo whoever and whatever it takes to gain traction and money in her race for the White House, she’s proposing that Congress pass legislation that would mandate America’s public schoolhouses remain open until 6 p.m.

Here’s the gist: Up to 500 schools would receive up to $5 million in grants over five years to keep doors open, an additional $1.3 billion would be allocated for summer programming, and academic/instructional programming is not mandated.

In the senator’s own words: The endgame is to “develop high-quality, culturally relevant, linguistically accessible, developmentally appropriate academic, athletic or enrichment opportunities for students.”

Ms. Harris also tossed in personalized tidbits while making her pitch this week.

“My mother raised my sister and me while working demanding, long hours,” she said. “So, I know firsthand that, for many working parents, juggling between school schedules and work schedule is a common cause of stress and financial hardship. But this does not have to be the case.”

Yes, sometimes that has to be the case. It’s generally necessary to take care of your family, it’s generally necessary for a successful career in politics and it’s most definitely the case unless you dream the American dream.

Supporters of the Harris plan are hiding behind an unspoken reality: America is not a 9-to-5 society — as Jane Fonda can attest. While the D.C. courthouse, which Miss Fonda can call her second home as she protests on behalf of climate change , is generally a Monday-Friday 9-5 operation, much of America, especially major cities, are open around the clock.

As Ms. Harris knows, Amazon and FedEx, police and fire departments, hospitals and airports, prisons and jails are 24/7 operations.

Even the campuses of her alma maters — Howard University and the University of California — never really shut down.

What’s truly menacing about Ms. Harris’ proposal is that she wants to institutionalize our children, keeping them so tightly bound to government programming until they’re unable to recognize their family. A continuation, if you will, of the school-to-prison pipeline.

Her plan also would effectively indoctrinate parents — young ones, neglectful ones and moms and dads at wit’s end — into believing that schools know what’s best for their children.

Between busing, pre-K for all, afterschool programs like sports, detention and chess clubs and the like, kids are already out of the home up to 10-12 hours per school day. Oy vey!

Another sneaky motive is the funding. You know how progressives and liberals are: They propose “pilot” programs that initially cost X amount of dollars, propose a what works/what doesn’t work study, then propose additional funding.

FDR did exactly that with his public housing “projects,” which failed miserably for uneducated poor folk.

And guess what? Ms. Harris is proposing the Department of Education give her longer-school-day measure the once over after five years — and that’s similar to the questionable Head Start program, which effectively has been broadened into pre-K for all.

If conservatives, independents and libertarians are looking for another issue to hang on their 2020 coat rack, education is it.

Liberals think voters and other stakeholders are as school dazed as they are.

⦁ Deborah Simmons can be contacted at dsimmons@washingtontimes.com.

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