Smith: Sanders win against homeschool families

By Todd Smith | The Caledonian Record

For decades Bernie Sanders has raged against “rich and the big corporations,” and he went into overdrive attacking the just-passed Republican tax reform bill. He called it an unconscionable giveaway to the rich, a “looting” of the American Treasury and a “victory” for prominent Republican campaign donors such as the Koch brothers. Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi chimed in with “Armageddon” and “the end of the world.”

Todd Smith

Todd M. Smith is the publisher of the Caledonian Record.

We’ll watch as that debate plays out this coming year, but for the moment let’s focus on the one contribution Bernie Sanders made to cripple the Republican bill.

When the House-Senate conference agreement came before the Senate, Bernie and Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden made their move. The Republican bill allowed parents and grandparents to contribute to tax advantaged Sec. 529 education savings accounts for students in grades K-12, including homeschoolers, in addition to students in college.

Senator Ted Cruz, the provision sponsor, said during floor debate, “Now the parents of 50 million schoolkids will be able to save for the education of their kids, and that has the Democrats horrified because every single Democrat voted against the parents in their State saving in a 529 system for K-12 education.”

Sanders and Wyden didn’t have the 51 votes necessary to defeat this provision, but under Senate rules they did have an argument about including homeschoolers. Cruz said:

The Senator from Vermont stood up and raised a point of order and said they want to exclude homeschoolers from 529 plans. There are 1.8 million kids who are homeschooled right now. …  [He said] ‘we are going to discriminate against homeschoolers. We are going to cut you out.’ Why? Because the Democratic Party can’t stand the audacity of a parent who would take it upon himself or herself to educate their child free of centralized control. So their point of order is to carve homeschoolers out. … Every other child in America has the ability to have their tuition paid for from these 529 plans, but children with disabilities being homeschooled, [and] every single Democrat stands united [in opposition].

But Sanders won the point of order, and the parents of homeschooled K-12 kids will be denied the use of their 529 account to assist their kids to get a better education, while Bernie rages on about the rich and the big corporations.

That’s a poor day’s work, if you ask us.

Todd M. Smith is the publisher of the Caledonian Record, where this editorial first appeared. He lives in St. Johnsbury.

Images courtesy of Bruce Parker/TNR and Todd Smith

13 thoughts on “Smith: Sanders win against homeschool families

  1. Funny, isn’t how the libs and their friends, the supposed champion of the common man have no qualms about furthering/continuing discrimination when their masters wish it to be so? Yet listen to them rant the conservatives! They’re all a bunch of hypocrites.

  2. My husband and I homeschooled our three oldest children for many years, in order to make sure their educations included the fact that they were made by God, in the Image and Likeness of God, in order to know, love, and serve God in this world, and be happy with Him forever, in Heaven. Two of these same children went on to become Advanced Placement Students at the high school level, got accepted at prestigious colleges, have never been unemployed, and are happily working in the fields that they love. The middle one of the three, our most adventurous, a girl, went on to Habitat for Humanity, practiced as a carpenter until she married her husband the electrician, and with him has built a life and started their own company and provided us with grandchildren. We wanted to be free of government intrusions in the education of our children, and that also meant free of government “oversight” regarding how we spent our money. We never received any “tax breaks”, and never asked for any. The best thing homeschooling parents can do for their families is to “stay under the radar”, and stay free.

  3. Let’s face facts! Bernie Sanders is a Socialist and he wants to see this country become a Socialistic country. He has a good start as the education being given to kids today is as close to Socialism as it can get. This Common Core Curriculum is a dumbing down of students today. Just look at what you see across this nation happening in schools. Students are rising up and standing against all this nation has ever stood for and we are allowing this to happen. I think it is about time we started standing up for America known as One Nation Under God and the only nation that still has a Constitution that we follow. WE THE PEOPLE are the ones that have the say not the government and we better start speaking out in support of it or we will be taken over by Socialism.

    • Yet election after election the BRAINDEAD Vermonters re-elect him (and Leahy) based on name recognition alone. None of them can even name one good thing they have done for the state during their entire careers. During their reign Vermont has gone from generations of families that have lived here hundreds of years to people selling and moving out because they can no longer afford to live in their home State.

      • Sad to say the Republicans have moved to the left and many do not stand behind the Republican Platform as it use to be and in fact the Platform has become more on the liberal side. If we are to see things turn around for the better we have to do some changing ourselves. 1) people are not voting for what the platform use to stand for, in fact they don’t even stand behind the oathe of office they took when they were elected. 2) there are fewer people that believe in the moral issues not voting and not looking into the character of those who are up for election. Check and see how many people actually vote in your town. You might be surprised. I’ve been told less than half of the voting population even go out to vote and they don’t seem to realize their vote counts even if they don’t vote. Also, we have had a lot of people move into Vermont from other states and instead of leaving what they didn’t like where they were they brought it along with them and started making changes in Vermont’s way of doing things. Calvin Coolidge would not recognize Vermont today.

      • I do not believe people vote for Sanders or Leahy only because of name recognition, but I think it is almost that simple minded. My belief is that the left wing in Vermont is brainwashed into believing if they vote democrat they are “kind” or “cool” or “forward thinking.” There is no critical thought involved, just a desire to be “in” and do what they think is “obviously right.” Like almost all liberal ideology, it’s not about doing good, it’s about feeling good. People vote for Sanders and Leahy and all the state level incompetent democrats because it makes them “feel” good. It escapes their attention they’re ruining the state and shooting themselves in the foot. They just want to feel good.

  4. Bernard J. can’t let something as inconsequential as children’s educations/futures get in the way of his beloved Communism,it’s for the children.

  5. Bernie ” Soap Box ” Sanders , is just spewing his same old rhetoric to side where the money
    is yup, NEA Union !! Home school kids are better educated and understand discipline that’s
    the one thing missing in todays public schools .

    The NEA supports this buffoon so they keep there cushy jobs on the backs of the children
    just push them thru no matter what .

    Spend a day in a class room , watch how your money is being spent ……..Shameful !!

  6. Sanders has no idea what he is talking about or the implications of his actions ! Sanders follows the scent of campaign cash and knows that, in his case, the NEA and School administrator’s unions are his “honeypot” – not the proud conservatives who choose to educate their children at home, instead of letting the liberal left brainwash them in public school ! (Damn spell check played with my first attempt !)

  7. Sanders has know idea what he is or the implications of his actions ! Sander’s follows the scent of campaign cash and knows that, in his case, the NEA and School administrator’s Unions are his “honeypot” not the proud conservatives who choose to educate their children instead of letting the liberal left brainwash them !

  8. Home schooled kids come away better educated than any public school can provide. Let’s face it. The dumber and less educated a person is, the more likely they are to vote Democrat. I am surprised the Republicans didn’t catch on.

    • The Republicans are nothing more than unelected Democrats. What makes you think they’re different?

      The only time they sound apart is during the election time. Then they gather in around TV and radio mics and tell fibs about one another and ask for your money.

      • The Republicans are bad, but not nearly as bad as the Democrats. At least the Republicans PRETEND to care about us. The Democrats are blatant in their disregard for US citizens and protecting our rights

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