President Obama’s plan to redistribute wealth includes the prosperity nestled in the suburbs. Regional Equity Taxation is being used by the federal government to control property taxes, to limit the development of “greed- filled” suburban communities, to undercut state autonomy in education, and to create an environment where states are forced to accept federal educational policies — all requirements for successful redistribution.
Regional equity, state equalization, regional tax-base sharing, and smart growth are some code words which stand for a federal process by which tax dollars will be taken from one community to equalize services, including educational opportunities, in neighboring districts. Myron Orfield wrote The Region And Taxation: School Finance, Cities And The Hope For Regional Reform for Rutgers which explains that “school districts’ traditional reliance on local property taxes has been effectively lessened by state equalization.” Once people surrender their property rights, protecting educational opportunities becomes more difficult.
Legislators will continue enjoying their estates. When their property taxes increase, they will vote themselves a raise and tax increases for the public.
Community organizer and friend of Obama, Mike Kruglik developed Building One America which recommends regional tax-base sharing as a method to take money from “wealth-laden, greedy suburbs” (and schools) and redistribute those dollars to nearby cities and less-well-off inner-ring suburbs. According to Stanley Kurtz from Forbes, Kruglik supports policies designed to coerce people out of their cars and force suburbanites into densely packed cities through a federal program called Sustainable Communities Initiative. Citizens are expected to surrender state autonomy over education willingly.
Support for redistribution of assets has been in the planning stages for a long time. When Benjamin Bloom recommended behavioral modification teaching approaches to transform education, his goals included creating a citizenry that would accept a world economy. Regional equity advocates have the same goal.
The 1975 educational goals of the Aspen Institute are coming to fruition. In A New Civic Literacy: American Education and Global Interdependence, the Institute defines global interdependence as Americans giving up “the dream of the little white house on its own quarter acre of land in suburbia and the permanent loss of personal mobility at will through enforced dependence on public transportation.” School curricula began adopting academic standards that promoted these values by providing the progressive definition of global warming, energy conservation, land use conservation, and population control.
Making Equity Planning Work was written in 1990 to celebrate the courage of the authors who survived the protest over their smart planning and equity taxation policies. The authors say they “accomplished impressive equity objectives” in Cleveland, Ohio, that changed property laws in the state.
Again, these progressives ignore facts. According to the Census Bureau’s 2011 American Community Survey, Cleveland’s poverty rate is 34.2 percent which is triple the 11.6 percent rate for the rest of the county. City planning records show that the population has declined as an increasing number of Cleveland’s population moved to the suburbs. This result is opposite of what the regional equity planners intended.
Educational experts promised that implementing Benjamin Bloom’s educational goals would result in superior academic achievement. The results were the opposite from what educational experts intended. Destruction of a once successful educational system initiated the study, A Nation at Risk . The findings concluded that a foreign government that perpetrated such destruction upon our educational system would have been condemned for committing an act of war.
Planning commissions will use government guidelines to justify raising property taxes to “encourage” country folks to become city dwellers. Soon those recommendations will become requirements for further federal aid. The promise of federal dollars is being used to implement Common Core Standards and other educational initiatives upon unwilling states and local school districts.
The federal government has taken a huge tax bite from citizens to develop programs which destroy their freedoms. Educational policies are undermining state autonomy in education, state statutes governing local control of schools, and state laws protecting parental rights to make educational decisions for their children. Regional Equity Taxation will eliminate parents’ ability to finance educational options for their children.
If parents successfully use their power and authority to eliminate Common Core, the ripple effect could be expected regarding other local regional equity policies. If citizens allow the federal government to use federal funding to force acceptance of failed educational policies, the federal government can be expected to accelerate implementation of Regional Equity Taxation.
Karen Schroeder is President of Advocates for Academic Freedom, a member of the Wisconsin Educational Communications Board, has a Master’s Degree in Special Education, and is an educational consultant. Karen can be reached at [email protected]