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[Susan notes: Don Orlich does us a great service by following some money. It is a model for all the rest of us to go forth and do likewise.]

Published in Spokesman Review
02/05/2005

To the editor


Follow the money, taxpayers



Kudos to the members of The Spokesman-Review editorial board for their stand against federal payola by Secretary of Education Rod Paige ("People shouldn't pay for fake news," Jan. 10). But that $240,000 for advertising the NCLB was just a pittance.



Using Paige's "discretionary" funding, the following groups have received federal awards (rewards?) to bash public education:



1. Education Leaders Council had $732,000 written off for questionable expenses.



2. National Council on Teacher Quality, which wants to privatize education, received $6.25 million. And they did not even file a final report.



3. American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence was awarded $35 million to develop a computer test for teachers. Pass their $500 test and you can teach in Idaho.



4. The National Center for Education Information received $2.25 million to provide information about alternative routes for teacher certification.



5. K12 Inc., Bill Bennett's virtual school, received $14 million.



Other "birds of a feather" all flocked to the federal chicken coop and they did not get exactly "chicken feed," as the total hit $74 million.



The feeding frenzy does not stop with the feds. In the fall of 2003, Superintendent of Public Instruction Terry Bergeson paid a speechwriter more than $15,000 to woo educators in Spokane.



Thank you, taxpayers!







Don C. Orlich


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