Well, this is sure to rile up anti-Common Core activists.
In addition to billions of suggested dollars for schools and scholarships, a newly proposed budget by the Missouri House Appropriations Committee on Education allots $8 for tin foil hats. Rep. Mike Lair (R-Chillicothe) proposed the tin foil provision as a dig at Common Core conspiracy theorists, who are paranoid the new education standards will lead to the widespread indoctrination of children. The $8 would be used “[f]or two rolls of high density aluminum to create headgear designed to deflect drone and/or black helicopter mind reading and control technology,” the budget says, as quoted by The Associated Press.
The Common Core State Standards are a set of new education benchmarks that were voluntarily adopted in 45 states, including Missouri. While the measure is designed to make sure students around the country are held to the same benchmarks, some conspiracy theorists have gone so far as to surmise that the Standards will turn children into mindless zombies, or open classrooms up to Nazi Germany-style government influence.
Lair, who is a former teacher, says the tin foil provision was meant as a direct jab at Common Core conspiracy theorists.
In Missouri, Common Core opponents have been trying to block implementation of the educational initiative. According to The Columbia Daily Tribune, the tin foil hat money was tied to an amendment that would bar Missouri from accepting federal grants that are connected with the Common Core rollout.
“If you can’t deal with folks with logic, you use humor,” Lair told the Tribune. “This is to stop all the problems from the black helicopters and drones. This is high density foil.”
His desk was later covered in tin foil. It is unclear who is behind the prank.
— Matt Sanders (@mattksanders) February 20, 2014
Anti-Common Core activists have taken to Twitter to deride Lair's tongue-in-cheek contribution to the proposed budget:
— Stop Common Core IL (@stop_cc_il) February 20, 2014
— Art Hassan (@arth711) February 20, 2014
Please retweet this: Rep Mike Lair chair Ed Committee appropriations: 573-751-2917 send the message WE ARE NOT STUPID
— Mart Staggs (@prayfreefuture) February 20, 2014
A survey released this week shows a majority of Americans don't know what the Common Core State Standards are. Among those who are actually familiar with the Standards, more support the initiative than not. The survey also found that most Americans favor uniform education standards throughout the country (which happens to be one of the main aims of the Common Core), suggesting that most Americans would support the Standards if they knew more about them.