Dianne Feinstein on Education

Last Updated : Sep 20, 2012

Summary

Master Teachers

In 2001, Senator Feinstein supported an amendment to create a "master teacher" program. Under this program, someone with 5 years teaching experience and a willingness to commit to 5 more years with other qualifications could be given the title of master teacher and paid an additional $30,000.

Head Start and Debt Forgiveness

Senator Feinstein has repeatedly supported measures to include head start teachers to be included in student loan debt forgiveness. She noted that in exchange for 5 years of teaching, Head Start teachers could have up to $5,000 of their Federal student loans forgiven.

Smaller Schools

In 2001, Senator Feinstein supported funding for the specific goal of building small schools. The amendment would provide a new funding source for school districts or States to build new schools with the explicit goal of reducing school size. The Senator asserted that we need to build 6,000 new schools in this Nation just to meet enrollment growth projections and that this was not going to happen if there isn't some Federal help. 

No Child Left Behind

In 2001, Senator Feinstein supported the No Child Left Behind legislation. She called it the most profound revision to Federal education policy since ESEA was first enacted in 1965 and an important reform designed to help students learn, achieve and in fact, excel.

 

Master Teachers

On May 8, 2001 Senator Feinstein spoke on the Senate floor in support of an amendment that she was offering to create a master teachers program to help retain teachers. The discussion was part of the Better Education for Students and Teachers Act.

 

Head Start and Debt Forgiveness

On May 17, 2001 Senator Feinstein spoke on the Senate floor during discussions on the Better Education for Students and Teachers Act. She expressed her support for debt forgiveness to include head start teachers.

 

Smaller Schools

On June 12, 2001 Senator Feinstein spoke on the Senate floor during discussions on the Better Education for Students and Teachers Act. She expressed her support for legislation to allow for the building of smaller schools.

 

No Child Left Behind

In December of 2001, Senator Feinstein spoke on the Senate floor noting her support for the No Child Left Behind Act.

 

Debt Forgiveness for Head Start

In March of 2007, Senator Feinstein released a press statement noting her support for legislation that would relive the debt for those who chose to teach in a Head Start Program.

 

Education Reconciliation Act

In July of 2007, Senator Feinstein released a press statement noting her support for the Higher Education Reconciliation Bill.

 

College Cost Reduction Act

In September of 2007, Senator Feinstein issued a press statement noting her support for the College Cost Reduction Act.

 

Support for Head Start

In March of 2008, Senator Feinstein issued an opinion article noting her support for expanding the Head Start Program.

 

College Cost Reduction Act

In September of 2007, Senator Feinstein released a statement noting her support for the passage of the College Cost Reduction Act.

 

Official Website Statements

 

 

 

Voting Record

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 a great deal of support in the Senate and passed easily. Dianne Feinstein voted in favor of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act.

Dianne Feinstein voted in favor of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act.

Standards vs Tutors

Again in 2001, the Senate voted on another amendment which would authorize $200 million to provide grants to help states develop assessment systems that describe student achievement. This amendment would replace a previous amendment which would allow parents with children at under-performing schools to use public funding for private tutors. The amendment was widely supported by Democrats, but widely opposed by Republicans. It failed to pass in a 50-47 vote. Dianne Feinstein voted in favor of the amendment and supported developing standards over private tutors.

Dianne Feinstein voted in favor of the amendment and supported developing standards over private tutors.

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 all but 2 Democrats and all but 6 Republicans and passed the Senate in a 91-8 vote. Dianne Feinstein voted in favor of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

Dianne Feinstein voted in favor of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

Amendment - Voucher Program

In June 2001, Senator Gregg introduced an amendment to create a test voucher program for low income students in failing schools. The program would have been in 10 cities and three states. Dianne Feinstein voted against the voucher program.

Dianne Feinstein voted against the voucher program.

Teachers vs Tutors

In 2001, the Senate voted on an amendment to the Better Education for Students and Teachers Act which would have provided $2.4 billion in funding in fiscal 2002 for state and local services to hire up to 100,00 additional teachers. This amendment would replace an amendment allowing parents with children at under-performing schools to use public funding for private tutors. Every Democrat that voted supported the amendment, and every Republican that voted opposed the amendment. Dianne Feinstein voted in favor of the amendment and supported hiring teachers over tutors.

Dianne Feinstein voted in favor of the amendment and supported hiring teachers over tutors.

Affordable Education Act of 2000

The Affordable Education Act of 2000 was voted on in early 2000. Among other things, the bill would have allowed tax-free savings accounts of up to $2000 per child annually to be used for public or private school tuition or other education expenses. The bill passed the Senate in a 61-37 vote. Dianne Feinstein voted in favor of the Affordable Education Act of 2000.

Dianne Feinstein voted in favor of the Affordable Education Act of 2000.

Rules Waiver

In 1999, the Senate voted on an amendment to the Education Flexibility Partnership Act of 1999 which would have allowed states to waive certain federal rules normally required in order to use federal school aid. A vote in favor of the amendment would have signified support for vouchers and school choice. Every Democrat that voted opposed the amendment, and every Republican that voted supported the amendment. Dianne Feinstein voted against the amendment and opposed school choice.

Dianne Feinstein voted against the amendment and opposed school choice.

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 in the Senate easily, it was vetoed by the President. Dianne Feinstein voted in favor of the Education Savings and School Excellence Act of 1998.

Dianne Feinstein voted in favor of the Education Savings and School Excellence Act of 1998.

Education Savings Act and School Excellence Act of 1998

In 1998, the Education Savings Act for Public and Private Schools Education Savings and School Excellence Act of 1998 attempted to create tax-sheltered educational savings accounts. Although the bill got a majority of the votes, it did not get the numbers needed and failed to pass with the support of most Republicans, but the opposition of most Democrats. Dianne Feinstein voted in favor of the Education Savings Act and School Excellence Act of 1998.

Dianne Feinstein voted in favor of the Education Savings Act and School Excellence Act of 1998.

Amendment - Vouchers in DC

In 1999, the Senate voted on an amendment to the DC appropriations bill that would have installed a voucher system to allow students to choose to attend a private school, or any school other than their assigned public school. The measure failed to get the votes it needed with most Republicans supporting it and most Democrats voting in opposition to it. Dianne Feinstein voted against the DC voucher system.

Dianne Feinstein voted against the DC voucher system.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-111; Bill Number-S 3739; Safe Schools Improvement Act of 2010 - Cosponsor

Amends the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act to require: (1) states to use grants for safe and drug-free schools to collect and report information on the incidence of bullying and harassment; and (2) local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools to use subgrants to prevent and respond to incidents of bullying and harassment. Requires such LEAs or schools to: (1) notify parents and students annually of conduct prohibited in their school discipline policies, that now must include bullying and harassment; and (2) establish grievance procedures for students and parents to register complaints regarding such conduct.

Session-110; Bill Number-S 761; America COMPETES Act - Cosponsor

A bill to invest in innovation and education to improve the competitiveness of the United States in the global economy.

Session-111; Bill Number-S 3739; Safe Schools Improvement Act of 2010 - Cosponsor

Amends the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act to require: (1) states to use grants for safe and drug-free schools to collect and report information on the incidence of bullying and harassment; and (2) local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools to use subgrants to prevent and respond to incidents of bullying and harassment. Requires such LEAs or schools to: (1) notify parents and students annually of conduct prohibited in their school discipline policies, that now must include bullying and harassment; and (2) establish grievance procedures for students and parents to register complaints regarding such conduct.

User Comments