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Friday, September 05, 2008

What Do I Think?

Someone asked me what my thoughts were on Palin as the VP candidate. I'm not political by any stretch of the imagination! But this election does have me more interested than I've been in the past.

I do think it's neat, for lack of a better word, that Palin has a child with Down syndrome; and being so high-profile I hope she can bring positive awareness about Down syndrome to the public - the potential is there at least.

However this election is not based on the candidates' families/children and I wouldn't vote for someone just because they have a child with an extra chromosome. Obviously disability issues do concern me, but they aren't the only issues out there.

It's hard weeding through what is rumor, what is truth, and finding unbiased reports...so I actually haven't made my decision yet. I still have some research to do!

So there you have it - not very exciting, or enlightening, but that's what I think, so far anyway :)

Edited: I've also seen the reports that she cut special education spending in AK, but I've since read other reports that refute that.

This article on EdWeek explains it really well. Here are a few quotes:

"...these charges against Palin are false, driven by a misreading of the budget documents for the state.
The "proof," as has been presented, is the part of the
fiscal 2007 budget for the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, which includes funding for the Alaska School for the Deaf, students who are patients at the Alaska Psychiatric Hospital, and the Alaska Challenge Youth Academy, a statewide, boot-camp-style program. The budget that year was $8,265,300.

But the next year,
fiscal 2008, the budget is shown as $3,156,000, leading to the accusation that Palin cut the department's budget.

The difference in funding, however, is because the Alaska Challenge Youth Academy moved to a budget line item of its own. In the
fiscal 2009 budget, you can see that the academy alone has a budget of $6,082,100. When you add that to the $3,156,000 that is being spent on all the other projects, it adds up to $9,238,100--an approximately 12 percent INCREASE in spending on all those particular programs, put together, since fiscal 2007.

Gov. Sarah Palin has quietly signed into law the biggest rewrite of the state's education funding system in a decade, despite hints that she might veto the package.

The legislation phases in increases to per-pupil spending, increases to students with special needs and adjustments to cost factors that compensate school districts outside Anchorage for their steeper costs. It's expected to add an extra $180 million to school districts over the next five years.

Sean Cavanagh, who covers Alaska as one of his beats. He wrote earlier this year that the legislature and governor approved a bill that raises spending for students with special needs to $73,840 in fiscal 2011, from the current $26,900 per student in fiscal 2008."

The article linked by Sean Cavanagh was written in April and starts off "Gov. Sarah Palin and state lawmakers have gone ahead with an overhaul of Alaska’s school funding system that supporters predict will provide much-needed financial help to rural schools and those serving students with disabilities"

So from those 2 articles it would appear she didn't cut the special needs education budget at all.

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Molly said...

I too was excited, feeling that Palin would advocate for disability issues, but I read somewhere (on an autism board) that she cut funding for special ed by 63%... That really worries me. I'd be so interested to see what information you'd be able to find. It seems to be quite difficult to get the truth during election seasons!

Mom24 said...

I had pause when I learned she went back to work when her youngest was 3 days old. When are we going to stop admiring that? Was that really the best thing for her? For him?

I wish it was easier in this country to get to the truth of matters, instead of just all the hype--on both sides.

Killlashandra said...

It's interesting. Scribbit also had a post about Palin I read today. Very well written. Palin certainly is making headlines in all the circles.

Karly said...

Thanks for the corrected information, Michelle! (I updated my post and am glad to not be adding to the misinformation out there). It makes me feel so much better that she didn't cut special education funding, as so many articles were saying yesterday.

toomanyhats said...

A good unbiased spot to find where the candidates stand on all issues is: www.ontheissues.org. The rumor mongering TV news and most newspapers are very poor sources of info.

Anonymous said...

Okay you probably wont recognize me but this is KT from Mommatude.I changed blogs...I am catching up!!

You and I have very similar stances thus far on Palin,waiting to see how it will unfold.

Sue said...

I too have heard all the personal attacks on Palin. I am not one to be impressed with someone going back to work when a baby is 3 days old, but do we know what is meant by "back to work". I'm sure a governor really never has "time off". So by back to work - did they mean a full 10 hour day with the baby left at home with Dad or a sitter? Or do they mean she took a phone call or used the computer/e-mail or did she go in for a short bit to time with her son?

I for one am sickened over this election already and I want to go to sleep and wake up when it's over. I'm not happy with our Republican choice, but I could never vote for Obama.

It's upsetting to me that the only reasons I'm hearing against Palin are personal ones. She's not experienced, or she went to work too soon or she's a woman, etc. What happened to voting on the issues? It's good to hear a post on looking at the issues. :) So far I don't like her stances on some important issues, but I have more to research on both her and McCain as well. Hoping to find something to grab hold of.

Thanks toomanyhats - I'll have to take a look at that site.

Amy said...

I don't think it would come as a surprise to you that I am a conservative and will vote Republican. But to tell you the truth I'm not thrilled with McCain, but I will not vote for Obama. He believes in things that I do not and I have yet to hear one thing that he really stands for. I think he skirts around all the issues.

I don't typically talk politics because it seems like if you express your opinion some people start attacking you.

I feel that everyone should pray about who they feel God is leading them to vote for. Plain and simple. Everyone is entitled to their choice!

Jennifer said...

Thank you for responding to my question and giving facts to back up your thoughts. I enjoyed reading through the research you found.

This will be an interesting election to follow (even though I really am not thrilled with either candidates).

Tammy and Parker said...

I've read that the leaders of various teacher's unions have been pleased with what she has done so far.

And that is one group of people that is VERY hard to please, lol!

Anonymous said...

You raise some good points. I also always try to remember that families with significant $$ may not understand issues families without the same resources have. I guess its seeing beyond family/gender/etc and seeing what a candidates understanding of and policies around the issues are for normal everyday people. For me, it always boils down to who cares, really cares and has a passion to make a country a better place - not simply use fear tactics etc.
I'm doing lots of reading @ the moment, it is very interesting stuff!!