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How sincere is Obama about education reform?

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By Michelle Malkin  •  March 10, 2009 11:51 AM

So, the president is “boldly taking on the unions” with his support for merit pay?

Lots of hype.

But manage your hope.

If he were serious about true education reform, he would never sign his name to legislation that kills the innovative federal school choice program for low-income families in Washington, D.C.

Even his own Education Secretary opposes the Democrats’ sneaky attempt to starve the program in the $410 billion omni-pork bill.

President Obama’s complete silence on the matter tells you all you need to know.

***

Update: 12:30pm Eastern. Dick Durbin is nauseating. He’s disingenuously arguing that he’s against “wasteful spending” and merely wants to ensure that the school choice funds are spent properly.

The only time Durbin cares about “wasteful spending” is when it’s for a few families in DC wanting out of rotten schools.

Update: 12:33pm Eastern. Durbin forced to admit that while he is Mr. Public Education…he sent his own kids to private Catholic schools…

Meanwhile, Henry Payne points out:

Detroit, Mich. — Detroit Public Schools, one of the nation’s most chronically corrupt systems, will receive $355 million from the federal stimulus package — with no strings attached, the Detroit Free Press reported Saturday.

Like much of the nearly $1 trillion fiscal package, the DPS money seems driven less by fiscal good sense than by political payback.

With a $1.5 billion annual budget, Detroit schools are currently running a $150 million deficit with finances so tangled the state of Michigan recently appointed an emergency financial manager to oversee its operations for the second time in ten years.

Since the emergency declaration, DPS has failed to hand over at least five financial reports that are required under the state’s mandated consent agreement.

Ranked in a recent Brookings Institution survey as America’s worst major urban school district, DPS only graduates 24 percent of its students. In December, the DPS board fired Superintendent Connie Calloway for incompetence. Calloway was the second super fired in three years and the eighth district administrator in 20.

DPS has been plagued by corruption. A 2001 audit found $600,000 missing or misspent. Another 2004 audit of the district’s central warehouse found budget over-expenditures of $1.9 million and that furniture bought as part of a $158,000 purchase order was missing.

U.S. taxpayers can likely kiss this stimulus money goodbye.

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Categories: Education