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Feds: Donít defy recruiting rules

Feds: Donít defy recruiting rules


March 29, 2003
Sentinel staff writer

City schools may be in violation of military recruitment rules, but the reckoning could be more than a year away.
Federal officials donít consider Santa Cruz City Schools new ďopt-inĒ policy, which requires parent or student permission before names, addresses and telephone numbers of students are released to military recruiters, to be legal, a U.S. Department of Education spokesman said Friday.
But officials arenít planning any immediate action against schools that donít comply with federal rules. The rules require the release of student data unless parents ďopt out,Ē or request in advance that the contact information not be given to recruiters, he said.
ďThe law provides for parents to opt out but not opt in,Ē said Jim Bradshaw of the federal education department in Washington. ďWe hope school districts meet the requirement of the law, but if push comes to shove, ultimately the penalty is to cut off (federal) funding.Ē
Defense department officials say the rule is needed to maintain a volunteer military and to stem skyrocketing recruiting costs. The cost per recruit has nearly doubled from $6,500 to $11,600 during the past decade.
Only a half dozen of the nationís more than 21,000 high schools havenít complied with the law, according to the Department of Defense.
A Mountain View-based Marine recruiter said the city district was the only one in Santa Cruz County that failed to comply with a request sent out last year. Other districts couldnít confirm that requests had been made, but said they planned to provide the information under opt out guidelines.
Federal officials said they would meet with educators at schools that donít comply, and report violations to Congress if the issue canít be resolved after a year.
Though their legal counsel warned against it, Santa Cruz trustees adopted the policy Wednesday at the urging of students, parents and community activists. A Santa Cruz lawyer and the American Civil Liberties Union argued, however, that opt-in policies are the best way to ensure studentsí constitutional rights to privacy are protected.
Trustees decided the issue was important enough to risk to as much as $500,000 in federal money to take the stand.
ďI appreciate the dilemma,Ē said trustee Cece Pinheiro. ďBut in this case itís worth it. I donít like the government, the military, Big Brother saying their going to take money away if we donít do something.Ē
Contact Donna Jones at djones (at)

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creeping federalism

Local govt needs to stop acting like a bunch of crack whores, ween themselves of their addiction to federal handouts, and start obeying LOCAL orders instead of orders from King George over in Washington DC.

Local parents need to learn the same lesson. The socialist cry of "give us govt-run schools at any price!" policy contributes to keeping us all under Washington's dictatorial thumb.

I would applaud the direction in which Santa Cruz trustees *appear* to be moving, but I know it won't last.

The money will run out. An impending school closure will be announced. Parents will scream "save our children!" since they can't afford private schools (thanks to excessive taxation by the same govt, but they won't address THAT issue).

Someone will find some kind of race/class discrimination accusation to make against select public officials, and said officials will resume playing footsie with the military recruiters just to bring back the "free" money from Washington and save their own careers from being sunk over unfounded accusations.

Washington stays on top of us all, by continually playing people (politicians, parents, class & race activists) against one another.



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