Monday, January 24, 2005

The Albany New York Board of Education Has Had Enough

Veterans, What About Your Schools?

In Fahrenheit 9/11 there is a sequence showing highly aggressive recruiting tactics being used by the military in high schools. Poor school districts with a high proportion of minorities are especially targeted. No-Child-Left-Behind ties funding to a school's willingness to provide the names of students along with a free reign to recruit on campus.

Now, in the past, having spent nearly four decades in the military or providing consulting services to the military, I often would recommend to parents that they consider the military for their kids if they needed direction or to learn skills that would help them get jobs in the civilian life after their time in uniform. Now, I would be sure to also mention that there are many downsides to what high school recruiters are telling their kids.

The bottom line: This administration, and especially the DoD, is using blackmail and discrimination to get kids to sign up.

The pressure is phenomenal on a graduating senior with no money and no job prospects. The money for enlisting is at least twice as good as minimum wage. Gone are the days when recruiters were trying to make a good impression by wearing their 'Class-A' dress uniform - they now wear their battle fatigues and high tech accessories. They look cool to the kids. Albany New York, has had enough of these tactics, even though it could cost them dearly in federal funds. Ironically, it's a matter of values:


WHEREAS as members of the elected Board of Education of the City School District of Albany, New York, it is our responsibility to provide quality public education for the children of our district. On occasions when the conduct of other government entities significantly hinders our ability to effectively and conscientiously carry out our responsibility, and when such conduct negatively impacts the prospects for our children's future, we believe it is our responsibility, in fact, our moral imperative to raise awareness and issue dutiful notice enabling a timely and sensible course of corrective action to be taken, and,

WHEREAS as individuals, we hold a wide range of opinions about the policies of our federal government, but, as members of the Board of Education, responsible for both the present education and future of our districts children, however, we are of one mind in our concern and distress about the unprecedented national deficit and the extent to which available resources are being diverted to military purposes. Specifically, we are concerned about the degree to which this has negatively impacted the availability of resources to provide for the quality education and well-being of our nations children, and,

WHEREAS while we recognize that resources must be made available to support appropriate national interests, including the safety of our troops, we are resolved in our concern when resources are diverted from insuring an educational future for our children, and,

WHEREAS we believe that government officials at all levels should be mindful of this concern, must particularly, the President of the United States and our elected members in the United States Senate and the House of Representatives, and,

WHEREAS while Congress has requested unprecedented levels of accountability from local school districts, and imposed additional bureaucratic burdens upon them pursuant to the No Child Left Behind Legislation and the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act, it has nevertheless failed to provide the resources necessary to fund its ambitious goals, and,

WHEREAS the federal government has failed to live up to its commitment to fully fund these programs, and as a result, schools across New York State receive $1 billion less than was originally committed to them by the federal government.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Education of the City of Albany, New York requests that the federal government honor its commitment to fully fund all legislation imposed on local school districts, including NCLB and IDEA and the President and Congress be mindful of this commitment and obligation as they continue to allocate resources for military expansion and otherwise.


Veterans, in growing numbers, are going into school districts where recruiters are plying their trade, and they are balancing that with the reality of what it means to put on the uniform and how the government is not telling them the whole story. See Veterans for Peace for more information.

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link