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"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandela

Texas GOP Lawmakers Require High School Graduates to Apply for Federal Loans

By Carole Hornsby Haynes, Ph.D. July 29, 2019

Receiving a high school diploma in Texas is now predicated on a student filling out a federal form for financial aid for college Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

In the massive education spending bill (HB 3) passed by the 2019 Texas legislature, all graduating seniors will be required to fill out 100+ nosy questions about their and their parents highly personal information.  This is a flagrant violation of their Fourth Amendment right to privacy under the Constitution.

This is a very thinly veiled Democrat plan to create a federal government dossier on each person that can be used for citizen surveillance. The fastest way to build a national database is to require all high schools seniors to fill out a federal government form with personal family questions. The data is then linked with other personal data through federal and state databases and data from Pre-K-12.

Since only 47% of the Texas high school graduating class of 2017-2018 were college ready (TEA report), why should ALL students be required to submit a federal form for financial aid for college? Why should submitting a FAFSA ever be a requirement for receiving a high school diploma? Moreover, why should any student who plans to attend college be required by the state to submit a FAFSA for a federal student student? Isn’t that a matter of personal choice?

School counselors commonly steer all students toward college even though they are academically marginal students. It’s a well known fact that 40% of students who enter college must be remediated. It’s also common for many not to receive a college degree yet be saddled with college debt for years or even default on the loan so that taxpayers are saddled with repayment.

The bill states that parents (or 18 year-olds) can opt their children out of submitting a FAFSA. However, parental opt out on topic in public education has been an abject failure because parents too often are not informed of their rights or do not understand the sinister implications of their child’s participation. Too often, parents are not notified or the notification couches the information in such a positive way that parents (or 18 year-olds) are lulled into submitting to the violation of their Constitution rights.

Although the bill states that rules must be adopted to ensure compliance with federal and state laws on privacy of student data, that is impossible.f

Under the Obama administration, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act was shredded, allowing third parties to access student data without knowledge or consent of parents.  Student data is stored in state longitudinal databases required by the federal government -- banned from collecting personal data -- and can be accessed by the federal government without knowledge or consent of parents.

FAFSA data can now be shared across all federal agencies without knowledge or consent of citizens.  The recently enacted de facto national database allows all federal agencies to share data maintained on American citizens and to make it available for research by outside interests.

FAFSA mined data, which will be stored at the U. S. Department of Education, is not secure either.  In 2015 hearings, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee uncovered the lack of security.. A huge FAFSA data breach was discovered in early 2017, exposing over 100,000 citizens to fraud.

Conclusion

Forcing students to submit a FAFSA carries profound consequences for a student’s future and the Constitutional rights of free Americans. Further, requiring a FAFSA for high school graduation is a highly irresponsible and abusive action by legislators and educators. Texas Republican lawmakers violated their oaths to uphold the Constitution.They failed to uphold our conservative values found in the Texas Republican Party platform (Plank 53).

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