Vern Buchanan on Education

Last Updated : Feb 21, 2011

Merit Pay

In an undated press statement, Senator Kohl notes his support for a merit pay system and his introduction of the Fast Track to College Bill.

 

Fast Track to College Act

In September of 2008, Senator Kohl released a press statement noting his introduction of legislation title the Fast Track to College Act of 2008.

In March of 2009, Senator Kohl released a press statement again noting his support for the Fast Track to College Act. 

In May of 2009, Senator Kohl released an opinion article noting his support for the Fast Track to College Program.

 

School Breakfast Programs

In July of 2009, Senator Kohl released a press statement noting his support for increasing the school lunch program.

In August of 2010, Senator Kohl released a press statement noting his support for the passage of a Child Nutrition Bill that included increasing breakfast funds.

 

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. Herbert Kohl voted in favor of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act.

Herbert Kohl 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. Herbert Kohl voted in favor of the amendment and supported developing standards over private tutors.

Herbert Kohl 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. Herbert Kohl voted in favor of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

Herbert Kohl 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. Herbert Kohl voted against the voucher program.

Herbert Kohl 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. Herbert Kohl voted in favor of the amendment and supported hiring teachers over tutors.

Herbert Kohl 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. Herbert Kohl voted in favor of the Affordable Education Act of 2000.

Herbert Kohl 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. Herbert Kohl voted against the amendment and opposed school choice.

Herbert Kohl 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. Herbert Kohl voted in favor of the Education Savings and School Excellence Act of 1998.

Herbert Kohl 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. Herbert Kohl voted in favor of the Education Savings Act and School Excellence Act of 1998.

Herbert Kohl 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. Herbert Kohl voted against the DC voucher system.

Herbert Kohl voted against the DC voucher system.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-111; Bill Number-S 250; Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2009 - Cosponsor

Amends the Internal Revenue Code to replace the hope scholarship and lifetime learning tax credits with a higher education opportunity tax credit.Allows a higher education opportunity tax credit for the lesser of: (1) the sum of 100% of qualified tuition and related expenses (including a certain allowance for books) up to $2,000, 50% for such expenses between $2,000 and $4,000, and 25% of such expenses between $4,000 and $8,000; or (2) the excess (if any) of $16,000 over aggregate credits from prior taxable years. Reduces credit amounts for taxpayers with modified adjusted gross incomes over $70,000 ($140,000 in the case of a joint return). Limits such credit to three eligible students per taxpayer in any taxable year. Denies such tax credit to certain part time students and students convicted of a felony drug offense.Repeals the tax deduction for qualified tuition and related expenses.

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.

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