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Duncan Hunter on Education

Republican Representative (CA-52)


Unions and status quo run good teachers out of teaching

Jaime Escalante was a great math teacher who in the barrio of Los Angeles taught young kids Calculus, and he taught them so well that the school district called up and said, “We got a problem. We think your kids are cheating on the tests.” He said, “Test them again.” He established this incredible system in the school district by inspiring young people. The post-mortem on Escalante is that the unions ran him out of the school district, and that goes right to one of the big problems that we have.
Source: 2007 Des Moines Register Republican Debate Dec 12, 2007

Replace old credentialing with inspiration

Q: One out of three Hispanic students don’t finish high school. What would you do to stop dropouts?

A: What we have to do in this country is to take away all this old credentialing. We’ve got to bring in aerospace engineers & pilots & mathematicians & scientists & business-people, and we have to bring in people who can inspire kids at a young age to reach for the stars, and then convince them to work hard enough to get there. Inspiration, that’s how we increase our capability in education.

Source: 2007 Republican primary debate on Univision Dec 9, 2007

Make schools community-based with no mandated integration

Q: The Supreme Court recently ruled that even voluntary integration in America’s public schools is unconstitutional.

A: I think the population of the school should depend on the community that you live in. And it should be, in my mind, small schools, and they should be schools that are close enough to mom and dad that you can get them down to the school when the teacher needs them. It shouldn’t be based on any forced mandate by government, and I think it will work out a lot better that way.

Source: 2007 GOP Presidential Forum at Morgan State University Sep 27, 2007

Don’t impeach judges for decisions on legislature prayers

Q: Recently, a federal judge ordered the Indiana legislature to censor their prayers. Specifically, the federal judge ordered the Indiana legislature to never allow anyone to offer an invocation prayer in Jesus’ name. Will you as president consider impeachment a possible remedy for this judicial activism?
Source: 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate Sep 17, 2007

Present scientific facts that support creationism

Q: Academic freedom is threatened when questioning the theory of evolution. An Iowa State astronomer was denied tenure because of his work in intelligent design in May 2007. Censoring alternative theories--dogmatic indoctrination--has replaced scientific inquiry. Will you encourage a more open approach to the presentation of scientific facts that contradict the theory of evolution?
Source: 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate Sep 17, 2007

Equal funds for abstinence as contraceptive-based education

Q: I’m 18. One in four sexually-active teens has a sexually-transmitted disease. Meanwhile, 2.5 million American teens like me have taken public abstinence pledges, to save sex until marriage--the only 100%-proven effective solution and prevention for STDs. Would you bring abstinence-education funding onto equal ground with contraceptive-based education?
Source: [Xref Cox] 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate Sep 17, 2007

Schools forfeit funds if they expose kids to gay propaganda

Q: I’m a former homosexual. I used to think I was born gay, and was sexually active in the homosexual lifestyle for 11 years. Now, because of Jesus Christ, my Savior, I’m happily married for almost 15 years, and we have two precious children. Homosexual behavior is immoral and dangerous. I know. Many of my friends today, both male and female, are dead. Even so, schools across the nation teach our children that homosexuality is healthy, normal, and unchangeable. I’m living proof that’s not true. As president would you support legislation ensuring that schools forfeit federal funding if they expose our children to homosexual propaganda that puts them at risk?
Source: [Xref Cox] 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate Sep 17, 2007

Supports vouchers & home schooling

Regarding educational choice; home schooling; and the freedom of private and home education from federal regulation: I support taking the actions necessary to strengthen our public educational system and school vouchers are a great opportunity to provide students and their families with additional educational choices. A significant percentage of high school students have difficulty reading at a proficient level, test well below the international average in math and science, and lack basic knowledge in history. Clearly, parents have a reason to be concerned. Many Americans support innovative plans that address our current education shortcomings and I believe school vouchers are an effective way of achieving this goal.

Taking into consideration that approximately 2 million children are taught at home, it is important that we make every effort to ensure these students have the same access and opportunities to federal benefits, such as financial aid, as those who attend public school.

Source: Campaign website, www.gohunter08.com, “Core Principles” Sep 1, 2007

Voted NO 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 NO on allowing Courts to decide on "God" in Pledge of Allegiance.

Amendment to preserve the authority of the US Supreme Court to decide any question pertaining to the Pledge of Allegiance. The bill underlying this amendment would disallow any federal courts from hearing cases concerning the Pledge of Allegiance. This amendment would make an exception for the Supreme Court.

Proponents support voting YES because:

I believe that our Pledge of Allegiance with its use of the phrase "under God" is entirely consistent with our Nation's cultural and historic traditions. I also believe that the Court holding that use of this phrase is unconstitutional is wrong. But this court-stripping bill is not necessary. This legislation would bar a Federal court, including the Supreme Court, from reviewing any claim that challenges the recitation of the Pledge on first amendment grounds.

If we are a Nation of laws, we must be committed to allowing courts to decide what the law is. This bill is unnecessary and probably unconstitutional. It would contradict the principle of Marbury v. Madison, intrude on the principles of separation of powers, and degrade our independent Federal judiciary.

Opponents support voting NO because:

I was disappointed 4 years ago when two judges of the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that our Pledge, our statement of shared national values, was somehow unconstitutional. I do not take legislation that removes an issue from the jurisdiction of this court system lightly. This legislation is appropriate, however, because of the egregious conduct of the courts in dealing with the Pledge of Allegiance.

By striking "under God" from the Pledge, the Court has shown contempt for the Congress which approved the language, and, more importantly, shows a complete disregard for the millions of Americans who proudly recite the Pledge as a statement of our shared national values and aspirations. No one is required to recite the Pledge if they disagree with its message.

Reference: Watt amendment to Pledge Protection Act; Bill H R 2389 ; vote number 2006-384 on Jul 19, 2006

Voted NO 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 YES 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

    Voted YES on allowing vouchers in DC schools.

    Vote to create a non-profit corporation to administer federally-funded vouchers for low-income children in the District of Columbia.
    Reference: Amendment introduced by Armey, R-TX; Bill HR 4380 ; vote number 1998-411 on Aug 6, 1998

    Voted YES on vouchers for private & parochial schools.

    Vote to pass a bill to allow states to use certain federal funds designated for elementary and secondary education to provide scholarships, or vouchers, to low-income families to send their children to private schools, including religious schools.
    Reference: Bill sponsored by Riggs, R-CA; Bill HR 2746 ; vote number 1997-569 on Nov 4, 1997

    Voted YES on giving federal aid only to schools allowing voluntary prayer.

    Motion to add language to the "Goals 2000: Educate America Act" to give federal aid only to schools allowing voluntary prayer.
    Bill HR 1804 ; vote number 1994-85 on Mar 23, 1994

    Rated 17% by the NEA, indicating anti-public education votes.

    Hunter scores 17% 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

    Supports a Constitutional Amendment for school prayer.

    Hunter co-sponsored a resolution for a School Prayer Amendment:

    H.J.RES.52 (2001), H.J.RES.66 (1999), S.J.RES. 1, H.J.RES.12, H. J. RES. 108, & H. J. RES. 55:

    Nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to prohibit individual or group prayer in public schools or other public institutions. No person shall be required by the United States or by any State to participate in prayer . Neither the United States nor any State shall compose the words of any prayer to be said in public schools.
    H. J. RES. 78 (1997):
    To secure the people's right to acknowledge God according to the dictates of conscience: Neither the United States nor any State shall establish any official religion, but the people's right to pray and to recognize their religious beliefs, heritage, or traditions on public property, including schools, shall not be infringed. Neither the United States nor any State shall require any person to join in prayer or other religious activity, prescribe school prayers, discriminate against religion, or deny equal access to a benefit on account of religion.
    Source: H.J.Res.78 97-HJR78 on May 8, 1997

    Other candidates on Education: Duncan Hunter on other issues:
    Nominees:
    GOP: Sen.John McCain
    GOP V.P.: Gov.Sarah Palin
    Democrat: Sen.Barack Obama
    Dem.V.P.: Sen.Joe Biden

    Third Parties:
    Constitution: Chuck Baldwin
    Libertarian: Rep.Bob Barr
    Constitution: Amb.Alan Keyes
    Liberation: Gloria La Riva
    Green: Rep.Cynthia McKinney
    Socialist: Brian Moore
    Independent: Ralph Nader
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    Page last updated: Feb 08, 2010