By Eric Jorgensen
Congressman Ron Paul, R-Texas, is visiting Utah today, May 21, to address community members and government leaders concerning critical issues such as No Child Left Behind, the Immigration Act and the Patriot Act.
Rescue Utah Education is the group sponsoring the event and Joe Ferguson, president of the group, said he is excited for the visit of Rep. Paul.
Ferguson became better acquainted with Rep. Paul about five years ago at the Utah Republican Assembly.
“He is a man that stands fast in a time of political insanity,” Ferguson said. “He understands the Constitution, the American form of government and he stands by it. I admire him more than any other person in Congress.”
No Child Left Behind is the brain child of President George W. Bush in an attempt to raise the bar on public education. Not all Utahns, however, are excited.
“To me, No Child Left Behind epitomizes the federal government”s intrusion in state affairs,” said Libertarian Gubernatorial Candidate Richard Mack. “We do not need that program or any other federal program that requires Utah to compromise its standards in order to comply with federal mandates.”
Mack said he thinks local school boards should make all educational decisions.
However, Congressman Chris Cannon, R-Provo, supports No Child Left Behind.
“No Child Left Behind expands local control of schools by providing new freedom and decision-making authority to every local school district in America,” according to Cannon”s Web site. “It also provides local communities with more flexibility and more control over how federal education funds are used.”
Ferguson said he does not agree with Cannon and thinks No Child Left Behind is unconstitutional.
“The philosophical basis of No Child Left Behind is anti-Christian and anti-American,” Ferguson said. “Ron Paul is very interested in the survival of this nation, and a lot of evil people are trying to destroy it.”
According to the White House”s Web site, President Bush said No Child Left Behind would be very beneficial for Utahns.
“No Child Left Behind provides more than $5 million in funding to help Utah school districts assess how well children are learning and schools are teaching [and] increases Pell Grant funding to an estimated $102 million – $6.8 million more than last year,” according to the White House”s Web site.
Rep. Paul said he thinks that now more than ever, high school graduates are less educated and less prepared for the real world.
“More importantly, federal school dollars come with strings attached,” Congressman Paul said. “The more money we give to education bureaucrats, the more power they have to dictate how local schools are run.”
The event is at Lone Peak High School at 7:30 p.m. with a reception starting at 6:30. It”s free and open to the public.