Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Children are victims of Thune, Noem, Daugaard failures



Education Week has published a compelling series called, Education in Indian Country: Running in Place. Here is an excerpt:
South Dakota, which has the highest proportion of Native American students of any state, they lag on every academic indicator. According to the state's 2012-13 report card, 42 percent of American Indian students scored "proficient" or "advanced" on state math exams, while 80 percent of white students did so. In reading, 47 percent of American Indian students scored proficient or higher, compared to 79 percent of white students. The four-year graduation rate for South Dakota's American Indian students in 2013—49 percent—paints an even grimmer picture. And while the high-school-completion rate, which includes getting a diploma in more than four years or a GED, was much better, at 64 percent, American Indians still trailed every other major subgroup in the state by 17 or more percentage points.
Environmental pollutants produced by Republican campaign donors are causing birth defects and spontaneous abortions, especially among First Nations and American Indians.
Farm bill conferees missed a self-imposed Thanksgiving deadline for reaching an agreement on a new farm bill. That's one thing not to be thankful for this holiday season, as it puts the possibility of a settlement before Jan. 1 – or possibly at all – in limbo. Noem said she didn’t disagree with wanting students to eat more nutritious foods, but she emphasized that she wanted mandates to be replaced with guidelines. [Barry Amundson, Tri-State Neighbor]
Amundson writes elsewhere in the Neighbor:
U.S. Sen. John Thune brought up another point in a letter to conferees. He recommended that conferees drop the farm bill's most controversial commodity title provision, which authorizes payments based on planted acres and fixed commodity prices. According to Thune, conferees first must reach agreement on basic core program provisions that are not only effective for the ag producers, but also are defensible to taxpayers and global trading partners. So on and on goes the drama of getting anything done in Washington, D.C.
Even invasive species like the Chinese Ring-necked Pheasant are suffering from industrial agriculture. South Dakota Game, Fish and Extirpate Commissioner Jeff Vonk believes his state is failing wildlife.

Why worry now? Pick a lane, GOP: Edmund Burke or Thomas Paine?

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