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Sunday, January 30, 2005

Businesses have the money for at-risk children development, *** 2004 Job Creation Act

January 30, 2005
Dear Governor Pawlenty:

I know it must be getting old to keep asking the State to either assess all of the States spending and the State level federal spending ½% to find the funds to create a new expectation. A elementary school expectation that 100% of the children are ready to read going into kindergarten and make permanent the systemic process that creates such a change; by developing a early reading network under the direction of the local elementary school principal; because he/she is really vested in the continuing improvement. See the 100-word summary in the first letter.

I also suggested, if you cannot make this mandatory, then at least make it voluntary for the State employees and the vendors and those in the private sector who see the light. Ultimately, the State will not be able to avoid the effective citizens evaluation when they become educated in just how basic, natural and possible it is to have 100% of the children ready to read going into kindergarten. I suggested that the effective citizen population would perk-up and also contribute to this effort.

You are aware of the ethical expectation that the Job Creation Act of 2004 has created for our multi-national companies to spend (monitored by the "legal and honor system") local dollars in the areas of job training and job creation. How much! Nationally 240 to 320 billion dollars; (Newsweek 1-31-05 p.34) that will be tax at 5% verses 35%; say 90 billion dollars of tax savings - and really 300 billion dollars of extra cash (the whole 95%) for investment purposes; money that would not come to the USA for investment purposes, without the Act. The executives and boards of directors must pledge on their sacred honor (separate recent Treasury Department Regulations) that the company has a "domestic reinvestment plan to use the tax advantaged money for only permissible spending to create lots of domestic jobs. This came about from the export of job outcry in 2003 and 2004. My summary of this is a vast over simplification but accurate summary of published expectations of new free cash hitting the USA. Then our weak dollar internationally might have the impact of significantly understating the 320 billion dollars by 20 to 40%. (More dollars become converted from the same euros, etc.) We are talking about major one time money over the next several years.

There is money that our leadership and most powerful citizens could deliver to the source of the significant permanent improvements we can make for our future. Governor, you have the bully pulpit, please start with the State and move right to the most powerful. A simple 300 corporations in this state might make up over 5% of the numbers being discussed above (my guess). YOU and all other effective citizens already have their commitment they will invest these funds to create lots and lots of new jobs. I think they have promised not to use these funds for dividends, stock buybacks, executive bonuses, and paying taxes. Ethically our corporations should be ready to tell us soon how they will use the funds to invest in domestic growth as a part of the treasury regulations. It is only 300 very interesting stories/reports that we are surely interested in.

Cash cannot be traced this clearly, but at the end of the day-years there will be additional money to spend for job creation. We can trace spending and look for extra investment in our backyards. This is not going to be well published, corporations have no reason to make this well known, but the facts should be positively and constructively presented by our free press as the spending unfolds against the honored expectations.

Also, our Federal Reserve is pointing to every dollar spent in the area of early childhood development that teaches children social and early reading skills (high quality) pays back 8-17 times; generating in excess of a 16% IRR; over the next 40 years. And, the payback in the first 10 years is significant enough to pay back bonds for creating principal networks.

Just Google- "Jobs Creation Act of 2004" - This is the title of the law;
"To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to remove impediments in such Code and make our manufacturing, service, and high-technology businesses and workers more competitive and productive both at home and abroad."

But, for this to actually impact the most needed job creation in the state we are going to have to start with Early Reading Development age 3-6 because …the employee base worth targeting (those out of work) for growth in our world economy will need to be able to engage and read. You cannot ask corporations (private sector) to spend money where the return is higher risk that the lowest risk alternative. But, now one of the lowest risk alternatives is 100% Early Reading and Social Skill education of our age 3-6 children - if you use your bully pulpit to influence the private investment for a public return. This will in faith makes a greater private return possible.

You are the top position to ask for some portion of the funds for 100% early childhood (age 3-6) social and reading education. Give a little to get a little, tried and true demonstrations of faith, love and hope; demonstrated to be very powerful by Mother Teresa and Rich Dad. Talk about being twice blessed from these public private gifts! The economic cycle will bless this many times more than twice. And, no tax increase is suggested.

Tom Wolfgram
USA VALUES - CDP Phone 507-452-2658
Character Development Program Fax 507-452-2202102
Walnut Street Twin Cities phone 763-550-0769
Winona, Minnesota 55987
(501 (c) (3) company)

Sunday, January 16, 2005

What a Governor Could do!! Without Tax Increases

USA VALUES - CDP Phone 507-452-2658
Character Development Program Fax 507-452-2202
102 Walnut Street Twin Cities phone 763-550-0769
Winona, Minnesota 55987
(A 501 (c) (3) company)
December 15, 2004

Dear Governor Pawlenty:

Thank you for the invitation to discuss creating capacity with relatively less resources. This is a skill learned by the private sector over the last 35 years and that skill has created the private sector expectations for innovation. Continuous improvements always require that first things first be done right the first time. We could serve ourselves, and be in front of other states and expected possible community development if we accelerate investing in our age 3-6 most disadvantaged children. A base premise would guide us (say 100 words) to agree on collaborations worthy of combined giving and delivery efforts. Lets draft this premise from the following start: The Truth Without the gift of Early Reading Skills all children are behind before they even start kindergarten.The Gift Only an individual gift delivers early reading skills at age 3, 4 and 5. This gift is the key to opportunity. It is society’s best (effective and lowest cost) approach to preparing the bottom half of the bottom half (poorest of the poor) to want the opportunities, choices and engagement.The Focus When 100% of the children start kindergarten ready to read English the urban school has the resources to meet the Adequate Yearly Progress Requirement of No Child Left Behind.

Many important citizen league issues are addressed when the community commits to giving the gift of early literacy, one-size-fits-one, to its collective self. The gift is ethical, moral, proven economic, and better than an expansion of government.
Pre-K Child Development (ready-to-read)
Fewer Special Education Needs
School Performance and Accountability
Urban Race Relations, and Segregated School Populations
Urban Generational Poverty
Urban Economic Development (make a 16% internal rate of return investment)
Our society has never prepared 100% of the children in urban areas to start kindergarten ready-to-read. This is a new NCLB legal requirement, and it is being addressed as if it is an old process, that requires a turnaround. SO BE IT, rise to the challenge the fastest by positively facilitating exactly this simple new requirement within the urban community. In fact, the individual gift giving networks, created as extensions of the public schools, will deliver the “wiggle room” needed in turnaround budgets. Leaders need to see the gift as a first things first – quality is free - investment. It is a private investment for a public return. Education needs to ask for the gift for the poorest of the poor children through the voice of the powerful effective citizen, with the money on the table to proceed.
The urban elementary school principal's network to the community is also the urban capacity to sustain any improvements over 10-20 years or longer. This gift-giving network is also the link to the social return and payback. The Network would be sustained under the series of serving principals.

Several Points within the Formula
1. Every 100 children entering kindergarten must be covered by an elementary school principal driven community network to be certain that 100% of the children are ready-to-read. This creation is an investment that pays for itself over 8 years.
· It needs stakeholders to find the present money that exists in many places.
· This is not resourced with a tax increase. It is an “equity” investment.
2. Each county has xxxx children age 3 and 4, headed for kindergarten. Based on census data there are 27,000 children per year in Ramsey and Hennepin County entering kindergarten.
Estimate that:
· 40% of these children are not behind.
· 20% of these children’s have families to be assisted by the network leadership in preparing the child to be ready-to-read. This 40+20% compares with the census of children in “school” of 45%.
· 40% of the 27,000 children will need a non-family member to give the gift of early literacy to the child, in or out of the home but within the presence of the family, so each child starting kindergarten is ready-to-read. This is also a very important gift to the teachers, school, and our collective selves. The collective resources in our society to give this gift have never been stronger and are getting stronger all the time.
3. A massive communication and public education effort is required that will not cost the state a dime to administer if several Special Purpose Magazines that use advertising and subscription revenue drive these concepts from and to effective concerned citizens. Regional Universities should incrementally publish the magazines that focus on the doing, and not doing, of 100% coverage.
4. Do not be mislead into thinking that the ready-to-read “business” has to cost the state $14,000 per child. First it is a family and then community issue, to be delivered individually. It should be kept simple. Because at this age it is simple, and the process discipline involved is 90% adult “volunteer” scheduling, reading and observation. Simple adult discipline is required to give the child the opportunity to “work” “learn”. Second, the gift to be accepted as such, must come from the heart of an individual. For the gift to be effective; in improving race relations, segregated school populations and generational poverty; it must respectively flow through the Male African American and Native American Indian whenever possible. Third, We estimate the gift to be valued at $5,000; $2,500 per year, at $25 per hour, and minimal funds are needed for 60% of the children population. All one-size-fits-one-processes with age 3-6 children are adequate to start, and will improve, to assure the principal that 100% of the gaps have been filled over the first 4 years of network development.
5. In summary going back to the counties in point 2; 11,000 of the 27,000 children going into kindergarten must start receiving the gift at a cost of $5,000 each, over two years, (11,000 times $5,000 = $55,000,000 over two years) which delivers them ready to read to the school system (principal and teachers) who are individually vested in their ability to achieve. This money will be gifted or will “seep out” of the federal, state, county and city budgets as soon as the most powerful effective citizens realize it is demonstrated to be a pay now or pay more later proposition, that in the end, is incrementally cost free, if done right the first time. That is a mouthful, and all the players are in place to make this happen, incrementally.

Equity, Accountability and Innovation
Some would say the focus on the gift above has not been proven. We would say it is proven child by child already. Just look at the key to any child's early success in urban schools, rural schools, and suburban schools. The key is the same (the ability to stay in the learning game creates opportunity to learn) if the gift has been delivered; if not then the ability (prior to opportunity) must be recovered at a higher cost, with a recovery failure rate moving the system off the 100% goal; with some failures costing more than others. Remember how important it is to start with successes in any endeavor. It is just impossible to get to 100% in grade 3; starting with 60%. The delivery system to the most disadvantaged must be changed to do first things first, one-on-one. Our future as we expect it is tied to exactly this change.

The Institute of Education Sciences has money available to prove exactly this premise. We could be working right now on this focus with or without the Institute. Without the gift, FIRST, we are making solutions much more difficult than they need be; Without the gift we are stuck in place; locked into a wish to reach our 100% goals; Without the gift we have an institutional process that justifies our failures as normal cost without recognizing the essential most important building block that occurs during age 3-6 can not be built later in a classroom. This thinking is disruptive to the establishment. New requirements for communities and schools will align our society for the future. Innovation will fill gaps as soon as the players are encouraged by the leaders inside the boxes to innovate, not a moment before. The underserved customer has stated to be heard, and will drive the innovation once they find a joint affordable interest with society’s powerful. The urban cities are the next frontier of safe economic development, missing only the affordable proven investment.

No Tax Increases
The state can lead this effort with effective citizens without added tax burdens.
1. The special purpose magazine provides the leadership of the effective citizen at no net cost to the community.
2. The principal network pays for itself over 8 years and requires a private investor (hero) for the community common good. This money is readily available if accounted for by the principal, with the investor. In eight short years the elementary schools will be overcome by the proficiency. The bottom half of the bottom half impacts the proficiency most dramatically.
3. The $5,000 per child is a continuous need, and could require the effective citizens make unsolicited requests of the Federal Department of Education to start the process of moving present Title I through Title V funding to do first-things-first, county by county (accountable with the 3rd grade reading test and an expectation for a 16% IRR). This would start with innovating federally funded state administered supplemental education monies for the $5,000 gifts to children, along with other individual commitments to fill the gaps. Effective citizen and principal collaboratives should be able to apply for the funds.

In a separate tact to the same end, money could be made available for this effective citizen initiative with a School, State, County and City temporary spending assessment of less that .5%. (Gift?, Optional?, Published as Special?)

The spending assessment gift to put the money on the table now is not a tax and represents exactly the commitment of the public sector; required by the private sector. It is simple; a $100.00 expense is paid by the state, county, and city; in full with a $99.50 check. Certainly this semi-public fund could also take tax-deductible gifts from the private sector until the requirement became line item funded.
· The Governor and Legislature must make this gift legal and possible.
· The ½ of 1% will focus our entire public sector on first things first because much of the public sector spending is payroll.
· It puts Minnesota back on top of innovation in education.
· This is doing first-things-first with first money for the poorest of the poor.
· This is a value added gift assessment; not a value added tax.
This innovation in giving will be controversial, and matched by effective citizens; tired of talk; understanding the truth; and appreciating the value added gift from the school and government sectors seeding the start of real change to include substantive accountability.

“A Business Plan”
The initial goal is to make ready-to-read going into kindergarten as important as immunizations and get the action plan funded by gift giving. We have a Free “business plan of sorts”, available after December 31, 2004, revealing a new set of assumptions and innovations critical to this action - in any set of counties that have adequate levels of effective citizens. The design of networks and delivery processes must be substantive, one-size-fits-one, and build with the present capacity in place. Hennepin County has 18,500 children going into Kindergarten; Ramsey County has 8,700; the state has a total of 165,000 children going into kindergarten each year. The two-year cost for 40% is $330,000,000. Minnesota’s Federal Funds and Grants for 2002, doubled for 2 years is reported at 54 Billion. The state budget is 28 Billion and the county and city budgets are estimated at 10 Billion or more. $92 billion times .5% is $410,000,000.

Thank you for the opportunity to report the above in context of no new taxes. Email me for the PDF Version of the “business plan”.
Thomas D. WolfgramExecutive Director