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Jay Inslee on Education

Democratic Representative (WA-1)


$1.2B for automatic COLA adjustments for teachers

[In the recent court ruling] the court wrote that it wants to see "immediate, concrete action, not simply promises." I agree. Promises don't educate our children, and promises don't satisfy our constitutional and moral obligations. We need to put several billion dollars more into funding our K-through-12 education system. I propose a plan to make an investment of about $200 million in our schools this session. Most of that will go directly to your local school districts. It will also fund a long-overdue cost-of-living adjustment for our educators this session. Washington voters spoke loudly in 2000, saying that educators should get this COLA every year. Yet repeatedly that mandate has been shunted aside. We're going to live up to that promise this year. Last year I proposed a $1.2 billion down payment on our obligation to schools, funded mostly by closing tax breaks. The court now says what we did wasn't enough and the need for immediate action could not be more apparent.
Source: 2014 Washington State of the State address , Jan 14, 2014

Voted NO on reauthorizing the DC opportunity scholarship program.

Congressional Summary:The SOAR Act award five-year grants on a competitive basis to nonprofit organizations to carry out an expanded school choice opportunities to students who are District of Columbia residents and who come from households:
  1. receiving assistance under the supplemental nutrition assistance program; or
  2. with incomes not exceeding 185% of the poverty line.
Provides funds to the Mayor of DC, if the Mayor agrees to specified requirements, for:
  1. the DC public schools to improve public education, and
  2. the DC public charter schools to improve and expand quality public charter schools.

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:
[Rep. Bishop, R-UT]: In 1996, Congress insisted upon a charter school program in DC. You will hear from both sides of the aisle recognition of the great value that that program has, and justifiably so. There is a waiting list in DC for those charter schools. This bill increases the percentage of funding going to charter schools in the District. In 2003, an Opportunity Scholarship was instituted, at the insistence of Congress. Again, there was a waiting list of people wanting the opportunity; disadvantaged kids who wanted the opportunity that this scholarship afforded them. There were 216 kids at the time scheduled to enter the program who were not allowed; the bill remedies that.

Opponent's Argument for voting No:
[Rep. Hastings, D-FL]: In the last 41 years voters have rejected private school vouchers every time they have been proposed. In 1981, 89% of the people in a referendum in DC voted against vouchers. So how dare we come here to tell these people that we are going to thrust upon them something they don't want without a single public official in this community being consulted. Congress' oversight of the District is not an excuse for political pandering to the Republicans' special interest of the day du jour.

Reference: Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Act (SOAR); Bill HRes186 ; vote number 11-HV200 on Mar 30, 2011

Voted YES on $40B for green public schools.

Congressional Summary:Make grants to states for the modernization, renovation, or repair of public schools, including early learning facilities and charter schools, to make them safe, healthy, high-performing, and technologically up-to-date.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes: Rep. BETSY MARKEY (D, CO-4): This legislation will improve the learning environment for our children, reduce energy costs and create new jobs across the country. Green schools not only save school districts money but also teach the importance of sustainable living to children at a young age.

Opponent's argument to vote No: Rep. GLENN THOMPSON (R, PA-5): We all know our Nation is drowning in a sea of red ink. The bill we're debating today would add an estimated $40 billion in new spending. And despite the majority's hollow promises of fiscal responsibility, there's nothing in the legislation to offset this hefty price tag with spending reductions elsewhere. This is just more of the same borrow and spend, spend and borrow policy that we've seen under this majority and this administration.

Reference: 21st Century Green Schools Act; Bill H.R.2187 ; vote number 2009-H259 on May 14, 2009

Voted YES on additional $10.2B for federal education & HHS projects.

Veto override on the bill, the American Competitiveness Scholarship Act, the omnibus appropriations bill for the Departments of Departments of Education, Health & Human Services, and Labor. Original bill passed & was then vetoed by the President.

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 & 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.

Reference: American Competitiveness Scholarship Act; Bill Veto override on H.R. 3043 ; vote number 2007-1122 on Nov 15, 2007

Voted YES on $84 million in grants for Black and Hispanic colleges.

This vote is on a substitute bill (which means an amendment which replaces the entire text of the original bill). Voting YES means support for the key differences from the original bill: lowering student loan interest rates; $59 million for a new Predominantly Black Serving Institution program; $25 million for a new graduate Hispanic Serving Institution program; provide for year- round Pell grants; and repeal the Single Lender rule. The substitute's proponents say:
  • The original bill has some critical shortcomings. First and foremost, this substitute will cut the new Pell Grant fixed interest rate in half from 6.8% to 3.4%, to reduce college costs to those students most in need.
  • It would also establish a new predominantly black-serving institutions programs to boost college participation rates for low-income black students, and a new graduate Hispanic-serving institution program.
  • As we saw from 1995 to 2000, the questions employers were asking was not your race, not your ethnicity, not your religion, they wanted to know if you had the skills and talents to do the job. Most often today, those skills and that talent requires a higher education. A college education is going to have to become as common as a high school education.
    Reference: Reverse the Raid on Student Aid Act; Bill HR 609 Amendment 772 ; vote number 2006-080 on Mar 30, 2006

    Voted NO on allowing school prayer during the War on Terror.

    Children's Prayers Resolution: Expressing the sense of Congress that schools should allow children time to pray for, or silently reflect upon, the country during the war against terrorism.
    Reference: Bill sponsored by Isakson, R-GA; Bill H.Con.Res.239 ; vote number 2001-445 on Nov 15, 2001

    Voted YES on requiring states to test students.

    No Child Left Behind Act of 2001: Vote to pass a bill that would authorize $22.8 billion in education funding, a 29 percent increase from fiscal 2001. The bill would require states to test students to track progress.
    Reference: Bill sponsored by Boehner R-OH; Bill HR 1 ; vote number 2001-145 on May 23, 2001

    Offer every parent Charter Schools and public school choice.

    Inslee adopted the manifesto, "A New Agenda for the New Decade":

    Create World-Class Public Schools
    Now more than ever, quality public education is the key to equal opportunity and upward mobility in America. Yet our neediest children often attend the worst schools. While lifting the performance of all schools, we must place special emphasis on strengthening those institutions serving, and too often failing, low-income students.

    To close this achievement and opportunity gap, underperforming public schools need more resources, and above all, real accountability for results. Accountability means ending social promotion, measuring student performance with standards-based assessments, and testing teachers for subject-matter competency.

    As we demand accountability, we should ensure that every school has the resources needed to achieve higher standards, including safe and modern physical facilities, well-paid teachers and staff, and opportunities for remedial help after school and during summers. Parents, too, must accept greater responsibility for supporting their children’s education.

    We need greater choice, competition, and accountability within the public school system, not a diversion of public funds to private schools that are unaccountable to taxpayers. With research increasingly showing the critical nature of learning in the early years, we should move toward universal access to pre-kindergarten education.

    Source: The Hyde Park Declaration 00-DLC2 on Aug 1, 2000

    Reduce class size to 18 children in grades 1 to 3.

    Inslee co-sponsored an amendment to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act:

      Amends the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to establish a grants program to:

    1. recruit, train, and hire 100,000 additional teachers over a seven-year period ;

    2. reduce class sizes nationally, in grades one through three, to an average of 18 students per classroom; and

    3. improve teaching in the early grades so that all students can learn to read independently and well by the end of the third grade.
    Source: House Resolution Sponsorship 01-HR1036 on Mar 14, 2001

    Rated 100% by the NEA, indicating pro-public education votes.

    Inslee scores 100% by the NEA on public education issues

    The National Education Association has a long, proud history as the nation's leading organization committed to advancing the cause of public education. Founded in 1857 "to elevate the character and advance the interests of the profession of teaching and to promote the cause of popular education in the United States," the NEA has remained constant in its commitment to its original mission as evidenced by the current mission statement:

    To fulfill the promise of a democratic society, the National Education Association shall promote the cause of quality public education and advance the profession of education; expand the rights and further the interest of educational employees; and advocate human, civil, and economic rights for all.
    In pursuing its mission, the NEA has determined that it will focus the energy and resources of its 2.7 million members toward the "promotion of public confidence in public education." The ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.
    Source: NEA website 03n-NEA on Dec 31, 2003

    Other governors on Education: Jay Inslee on other issues:

    WA Senatorial:
    Maria Cantwell
    Patty Murray

    Election 2013:
    NJ-R: Chris Christie (won)
    NJ-D: Barbara Buono (lost)
    VA-R: Bob McDonnell(Retiring)
    VA-R: Ken Cuccinelli (lost)
    VA-D: Terry McAuliffe (won)

    Gubernatorial Debates 2014:
    AL: Bentley(R) vs.Griffith(D)
    AR: Ross(D) vs.Hutchinson(R) vs.Griffin(R,Lt.Gov.)
    AZ: Riggs(R) vs.DuVal(D) vs.Mealer(I)
    CA: Brown(D) vs.Kashkari(R)
    CO: Hickenlooper(D) vs.Beauprez(R) vs.Tancredo(R) vs.Hess(L)
    CT: Malloy(D) vs.Foley(R) vs.Walker(R,Lt.Gov.)
    FL: Scott(R) vs.Crist(D)
    GA: Deal(R) vs.Carter(D)
    HI: Abercrombie(D) vs.Aiona(R)
    IA: Branstad(R) vs.Hoefling(R) vs.Hatch(D)
    MA: Coakley(D) vs.Grossman(D) vs.Berwick(D) vs.Baker(R)
    ME: LePage(R) vs.Michaud(D) vs.Cutler(I)
    MI: Snyder(R) vs.Schauer(D)
    NM: Martinez(R) vs.King(D)
    NY: Cuomo(D) vs.Astorino(R) vs.Hawkins(G) vs.Teachout(D) vs.Hochul(D,Lt.Gov.)
    OK: Fallin(R) vs.Dorman(D)
    PA: Corbett(R) vs.Wolf(D) vs.Schwartz(D,lost primary) vs.Critz(D,Lt.Gov.,lost primary)
    Up for re-election 2014:
    AK-R: Sean Parnell
    AL-R: Robert Bentley
    CA-D: Jerry Brown
    CO-D: John Hickenlooper
    CT-D: Dan Malloy
    FL-R: Rick Scott
    GA-R: Nathan Deal
    HI-D: Neil Abercrombie
    IA-R: Terry Branstad
    ID-R: Butch Otter
    IL-D: Pat Quinn
    KS-R: Sam Brownback
    ME-R: Paul LePage
    MI-R: Rick Snyder
    MN-D: Mark Dayton
    NH-D: Maggie Hassan
    NM-R: Susana Martinez
    NV-R: Brian Sandoval
    NY-D: Andrew Cuomo
    OH-R: John Kasich
    OK-R: Mary Fallin
    OR-D: John Kitzhaber
    PA-R: Tom Corbett
    SC-R: Nikki Haley
    SD-R: Dennis Daugaard
    TN-R: Bill Haslam
    VT-D: Peter Shumlin
    WI-R: Scott Walker
    WY-R: Matt Mead
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    Term-Limited or Retiring 2014:
    AR-D: Mike Beebe
    AZ-R: Jan Brewer
    MA-D: Deval Patrick
    MD-D: Martin O'Malley
    RI-I: Linc Chafee
    TX-R: Rick Perry


    Contact info:
    Fax Number:
    202-226-1606
    Mailing Address:
    Cannon HOB 403, Washington, DC 20515
    Phone number:
    (202) 225-6311

    Page last updated: Jul 12, 2014