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Randy Speck

Superintendent , Madison District Public Schools

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Debate: Should public schools take on the responsibility for offering basic needs like food and health care to students and families?

Schools may no longer be just a place for parents to drop their kids off for six and a half hours each day. Due to various socio-economics, schools increasingly find themselves in a new place of influence. The impact of that influence could have a major impact on communities. Schools have access to be able to provide three meals a day through various breakfast, lunch and dinner programs. Schools have access to healthcare through School Based Health Centers to be able to provide services to students, their families and the community. However, the debate is...should schools have this responsibility?


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    Oct 27 2012: Aside from the types of things that have already been mentioned, food and health, I would like to see schools facilitate interventions for dental hygiene. Dental issues place children on a trajectory of poor health, as well as psychological problems like low self esteem. It would be well worth the investment.
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      Oct 27 2012: Theodore,
      I believe you are correct...dental, vision, mental health options are services I have seen used in school based health clinics. These become invaluable to students and their families.
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        Oct 29 2012: Randy I am always swimming up stream from the 95% minority of the socialists here on TED so this is nothing new.

        I know this group is against capitalism but for a government agency to enter into competition with Doctors, Dentists, mental health professionals, and the grocers is an unfair advantage that has roots in the leagal system. In this case I don't think the President can call it a tax again and get away with it .... again. Schools are not either chartered or licensed to conduct these ventures it is not in the mission statement or in the budget that is derived from the public.

        This appears to be more fall out from United Nations Article 21 and the White House Executive Order on Rural Sustainability.

        Randy I am not a muse but here is what I forsee.

        1. If Obamacare is not repealed then clinics will indeed apear but not in the school. That would mean Obama was re-elected and Arne Duncan will take over the school system as he has outlined.

        2. If this occurs then it will be totally funded by the state government by federal mandate. This and obamacare have alread been identified as the fatal blow to the state budget at which time the federal government will take over the states debit and will dictate all terms to the state.

        Either way it will no longer be the problem of the schools board, superintendents, principals, or the parents as they will have no say in the federal administration of the system.

        This is not alarmist or inventive just a logic sequence of events that have historical precidence.

        These people should be careful of what they wish for .... they may get their wish.

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          Oct 29 2012: When I read this I am reminded of the words of Scrooge, "Are there no poor houses?"
          Nowhere in this reply is there an alternative approach for provide children with healthier lives. Should we be against children having healthier lives and the promise of a brighter future?

          Schools and the government, and I mean to say taxpayers since they are the ones who foot the bill, are already providing these services in one form or another; school lunches, and in some cases breakfast, states currently fund medical coverage in one form or another. The problem is that they can do better. The food we service our children needs to be eatable, and good for them. Dominos Pizza is projected to be in 240 school districts this year. Companies like Dominos Pizza jump at the opportunity to promote their products in schools because they know that they will be developing lifelong customers. The joke is that the pizza schools were serving were worse.
          The Farm Bill which funds school lunches has not been revised in decades. The Congress tried to revise to pass a revision in 2011, and it fell victim to political wrangling.

          This needn't be part of a socialist agenda. Certainly, socialist are not the only ones that care about children. Or are they?
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        Oct 29 2012: Although you have made an emotional response ... I do not see anywhere in the reply that said I was not correct in a suggestion of how this would play out.

        The Farm Bill as you put it ... being UN Article 21 ... was certainly bypassed it is size by Obama in the White House Rural Sustainability (the new name for Environmental) Executive Order. He has committed 25 federal agencies to support that effort.

        Remember there is a ying and a yang to everything .... as you suggest I may be a scrooge the other extreme would be to remind you that Hitler also had youth camps. There must be a middle where we can discuss this versus the extremes and the emotional.
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      Oct 28 2012: I think you may be interested in the works of Vermin Supreme! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jKszduiK8E&noredirect=1

      All in jest, of course.
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      Oct 28 2012: I would also really like to see grade, junior, and high school work to educate kids on elementary first aid skills.

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