Sunday, July 21, 2013

Republicans Vote To Further Defund Public Education


Not a single Democrat voted for John Kline's anti-education bill, H.R. 5. It passed Friday, 221-207, a dozen Republicans crossing the aisle and voting with Team Pelosi. The bill, which Kline and the rest of the GOP zombies call the Student Success Act, was supposed to rewrite No Child Left Behind. If anything, they've managed to make a terrible law even worse.

Even Obama's way too corporate Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, couldn't stomach it. He said that beside locking in crippling cuts to education funding. it “marks a retreat from high standards for all students and would virtually eliminate accountability for the learning of historically underserved students-- a huge step backward for efforts to improve academic achievement.” The Senate will never pass this garbage and Obama said he would veto it if it ever reached his desk.

The 12 Republicans who voted NO, are mostly in purple districts where it's hard to get away with voting for this kind of crazy-ass legislation. (It is worth noting, however, that Congress' most anti-education Member, Louie Gohmert, also voted NO, but he voted NO because he opposes public education completely. 4 Libertarian-types who also oppose public education-- Justin Amash (R-MI), Tom Massie (R-KY), Walter Jones (R-NC) and Sam Graves (R-MO)-- voted against the bill as well. The other 7 Republicans are in districts where voters could hold them accountable for anti-education votes:
Chris Gibson (R-NY)- PVI= D+1
"Mikey Suits" Grimm (R-NY)- PVI= R+2
David Joyce (R-OH)- PVI= R+4
Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ)- PVI= D+1
Tom Reed (R-NY)- PVI= R+3
Dave Reichert (R-WA)- PVI= R+1
Jon Runyan (R-NJ)- PVI= R+1
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights sent Kline a letter explaining their opposition to his discriminatory bill which reverses the role of the federal government in protecting equal opportunity and access for all students to a quality education. In part:
The Leadership Conference believes that the merit of an education bill is determined by its treatment of the most disadvantaged among us and the “Student Success Act” proposes to marginalize underserved communities even further by completely removing the federal focus on the achievement of underprivileged students. Specifically, H.R. 5 eliminates accountability for the achievement and learning gains of subgroups of disadvantaged students who have long struggled against the bigotry of low academic expectations. H.R. 5 also eliminates performance targets; permits federal funds targeted for vulnerable groups of students such as ELLs and Native American students, to be reallocated for other purposes; fails to address school climate issues adequately; and disregards disparities in access to college preparatory coursework and access to higher education. The Student Success Act is an anachronism and would once again allow states to ignore disparities in education for children of color, low-income students, students with disabilities, and ELLs. This would be devastating for these communities and for our nation as a whole; therefore, we strongly urge you to vote against the “Student Success Act,” H.R. 5.

The [George] Miller substitute proposes a strong reauthorization that holds states, districts, and schools accountable for student learning while providing the freedom to adopt innovative and effective reforms and interventions to support the achievement of all students. For example, it requires states to adopt Common Core Standards; requires improvement in both overall performance and closing achievement gaps between groups of students; sets meaningful performance and graduation rate targets; improves school climate by requiring low-achieving schools to reduce their suspension and expulsion rates; creates greater resource equity by closing the state “comparability loophole,” and requires states to address resource inequities; and ensures that state and local education agencies provide struggling schools the supports and interventions they need to improve.
In backward southern districts like Gohmert's most people don't care about public education-- or even understand what it is. They get all the education they need from their pappy, their church, their CB radio and Glen Beck. But there were 20 non-Confederate Republicans who voted to defund education and who represent districts where parents very much do care about public education and do pay attention. These 20 Republicans could be defeated if the DCCC used education as an issue against them:
• John Kline (R-MN)- PVI= R+2
• Peter King (R-NY)- PVI= R+1
• Gary Miller (R-CA)- PVI= D+5
• Mike Coffman (R-CO)- PVI= D+1
• David Valadao (R-CA)- PVI= D+2
• Rodney Davis (R-IL)- PVI= even
• Fred Upton (R-MI)- PVI= R+1
• Joe Heck (R-NV)- PVI= even
• Michael Fitzpatrick (R-PA)- PVI= R+1
• Jeff Denham (R-CA)- PVI= R+1
• Tom Latham (R-IA)- PVI= even
• Buck McKeon (R-CA)- PVI= R+3
• Bill Young (R-FL)- PVI= R+1
• Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)- PVI= R+2
• Jim Gerlach (R-PA)- PVI= R+2
• Mike Rogers (R-MI)- PVI= R+2
• Charlie Dent (R-PA)- PVI= R+2
• Erik Paulsen (R-MN)- PVI= R+2
• Frank Wolf (R-VA)- PVI= R+2
• Tim Walberg (R-MI)- PVI= R+3
Bolded names are Republicans whose districts Obama won in 2012 and/or 2008. Oh... all of them! I guess that wily, reptilian Steve Israel has some long-term plan for them... or something.

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