Sheldon Whitehouse on Education
Democratic Jr Senator, previously attorney general
Hinckley, who sends his children to Parochial school, said it was important to him that his children be raised in faith. He then pointed out that many families can't afford to send their children to private school and are stuck with failing schools. He proposed giving a grant to every family in Rhode Island, so parents can choose which schools they send their children.
WHITEHOUSE: When NCLB passed, there was a promise from the Bush administration that the additional burdens that NCLB puts on the public schools would be funded by the federal government. They broke that promise. As a result, our local schools bear a terrible burden of trying to comply. Arts programs, science programs, music programs, gifted programs--and other things that are important to the learning of children--have been thrown over the side so teachers can teach to that test. We need to fund NCLB and then go back and review how successful the testing program has been at improving education for our kids.
CHAFEE: I do believe that some kind of testing is a good idea--some parameters to see how everyone’s doing at various grade levels.The difficulty is in the funding. If we don’t provide the resources, it ends up going to the local property tax. If we’re going to mandate something at the federal level, we should pay for it
A: The Bush administration should keep its promise and fully fund NCLB. I believe that vouchers are a poor use of scarce federal dollars we need to devote more, not less, funding to our public schools, so teachers have the resources they need and our kids get the best education possible
“This administration has left our schools short-handed and our kids short-changed,” Whitehouse said. “When I get to Washington I’m going to hold the Republicans’ feet to the fire until full funding for No Child Left Behind becomes a promise kept, not a promise broken.”
Proponents support voting YES because:
Rep. OBEY: This bill, more than any other, determines how willing we are to make the investment necessary to assure the future strength of this country and its working families. The President has chosen to cut the investments in this bill by more than $7.5 billion in real terms. This bill rejects most of those cuts.
Opponents recommend voting NO because:
Rep. LEWIS: This bill reflects a fundamental difference in opinion on the level of funding necessary to support the Federal Government's role in education, health and workforce programs. The bill is $10.2 billion over the President's budget request. While many of these programs are popular on both sides of the aisle, this bill contains what can rightly be considered lower priority and duplicative programs. For example, this legislation continues three different programs that deal with violence prevention. An omnibus bill is absolutely the wrong and fiscally reckless approach to completing this year's work. It would negate any semblance of fiscal discipline demonstrated by this body in recent years.
Veto message from President Bush:
This bill spends too much. It exceeds [by $10.2 billion] the reasonable and responsible levels for discretionary spending that I proposed to balance the budget by 2012. This bill continues to fund 56 programs that I proposed to terminate because they are duplicative, narrowly focused, or not producing results. This bill does not sufficiently fund programs that are delivering positive outcomes. This bill has too many earmarks--more than 2,200 earmarks totaling nearly $1 billion. I urge the Congress to send me a fiscally responsible bill that sets priorities.
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CA:Feinstein(D) vs.Emken(R) vs.Lightfoot(L)
DE:Carper(D) vs.Wade(R) vs.Pires(I)
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