Rosa DeLauro on Education

Last Updated : Dec 14, 2010

Summary

Senator DeMint is a strong proponent of school choice and flexibility in education spending. He voted against the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act when it passed the House in 2001, and in 2006 stated that a one-size-fits-all education system is holding our children back and the states need more freedom to innovate. He said that accountability measures in NCLB shined light on the state of our nation's schools, but that NCLB does not always recognize alternate and improved ways to measure progress. 

In 2006, Senator DeMint supported the Education Opportunity Act, which taught college level courses in high school. He commented that the legislation would help keep our high school students in school by raising their expectations and showing them they can do college-level work. He also supported efforts to teach financial literacy in high school, and supported the DC school voucher program.

To accomplish his goals, Senator DeMint has proposed and advocated for the A-Plus Act. Senator DeMint summarizes the act through six bullet points:

  • All states would have the option of establishing a five-year Performance Agreement with the Secretary of Education.
  • If approved, states would be able to combine funds from a few -- or all -- of the federal education programs that are administered at the state level and would be freed from the requirements of each individual program, allowing states to use the federal funds on proven state initiatives that advance the education priorities of the state.
  • In exchange for this flexibility, participating states have to meet their performance objectives for improving student academic achievement and demonstrate a narrowing of achievement gaps.
  • If a state fails to improve academic achievement, their Performance Agreement will be revoked and they would revert back to the prescriptive NCLB system.
  • Accountability and student achievement will remain a high priority with A-PLUS, but unlike NCLB, A-PLUS allows states to use alternative accountability systems if they chose to do so.
  • A-PLUS requires states to submit to parents, the general public, and the Secretary of Education, annual reports on student progress and the use of funds.

One of the chief purposes of the the A-Plus act was to reduce the role of the federal government in local education systems. In a 2007 op-ed, Senator DeMint stated that the bureaucracy created by NCLB was an unworkable system which drew resources towards fulfilling paperwork requirements and away from educating children. He states that it is no coincidence that the decline in the education system in America coincides with larger involvement of the federal government.

 

School Choice

In March of 2006, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting his support for legislation that would alter the No Child Left Behind Act to allow for more school choice.

In August of 2010, Senator DeMint spoke in a round table about the need for a change in the education system and his support for school choice.

 

Press Statement - Financial Literacy

In March of 2006, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting his support for some programs that taught financial literacy to students.

 

Press Statement - Education Opportunity Act

In September of 2006, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting his support for the America Opportunity Act.

 

The A-Plus Act

In March of 2007, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting his support for the A-Plus Act. He stated that the legislation would give more freedom to states to use education funding.

In June of 2009, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting his sponsorship of the A-Plus act.

On a page devoted to the act on his official web site, Senator DeMint notes the highlights of the program and some positive opinions of plan.

 

Opposition to Federal Mandates

In March of 2007, Senator DeMint wrote an op-ed noting his opposition to the mandates established within the No Child Left Behind Program. He referred to the mentality of compliance when it comes to regulations that require teachers spend more time guideposts than actually teaching.

 

Support for Arne Duncan

In January of 2009, Senator DeMint wrote and op-ed noting his support for President-Elect Barack Obama's selection for Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and the possibility of real change in the education system.

 

Press Statement - The DC Voucher Program

In March of 2009, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting that the spending bill for 2009 would end the DC voucher program. He urged President Obama not to end the program and that doing so would put politics over results.

 

Official Website Statements

 

 

Voting Record

America COMPETES Reauthorization Act

In May of 2010 the House voted on reauthorizing the America COMPETES Act. The act passed the House 262-150. Rosa DeLauro voted in favor of reauthorizing the America COMPETES Act.

Rosa DeLauro voted in favor of reauthorizing the America COMPETES Act.

College Cost Reduction and Access Act

The College Cost Reduction and Access Act is a significant education bill dealing largely with funding for higher education. The bill removes tuition sensitivity for Pell Grants, increases the amount available for Pell grants, Funds the Upward Bound program, establishes the TEACH Grants, reduces student loan repayment rates, sets deferments based on need and establishes some partner based grants. The bill got the full support of the Democrats, but passed with the support of only about 1/4 of the Republicans. Rosa DeLauro voted in favor of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act.

Rosa DeLauro voted in favor of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act.

No Child Left Behind Act of 2001

No Child Left Behind was the primary focus of the Bush administration prior to 9/11. The bill requires states to develop assessments in basic skills to be given to all students in certain grades, if those states are to receive federal funding for schools. The Act does not assert a national achievement standard; standards are set by each individual state. The bill got the support of most Democrats and Republicans and passed the House in a 384-45 vote. Rosa DeLauro voted in favor of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

Rosa DeLauro voted in favor of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

DC Scholarship Program

In 1998, the House voted on an amendment to the yearly appropriations bill to Washington D.C.. The amendment allocated $7 Million dollars to a program for scholarships to low-income children. The amendment was ' agreed to with the support of most Republicans and most Democrats. Rosa DeLauro voted against the DC Scholarship Program.

Rosa DeLauro voted against the DC Scholarship Program.

Education Savings and School Excellence Act of 1998

This 1998 legislation would have allowed people to take money from their IRAs to pay for qualified elementary and secondary education expenses, including home schooling expenses. It increased the annual contribution limit from $500 to $2,000. It permits corporations to contribute to education IRAs. Although the bill passed both the house and the Senate, it was vetoed by the President. Rosa DeLauro voted against the Education Savings and School Excellence Act of 1998.

Rosa DeLauro voted against the Education Savings and School Excellence Act of 1998.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-111; Bill Number-H R 5116; America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 - Cosponsor

America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 or America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science Reauthorization Act of 2010

Session-110; Bill Number-H R 1971; Teach for America Act - Cosponsor

To provide for recruiting, selecting, training, and supporting a national teacher corps in underserved communities.

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