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Tom McClintock on Education

2004 former Republican Challenger CA Governor

Get education money into classrooms, not into bureaucracy

Q: Your comments on high school exit exams.

McCLINTOCK: I would not postpone the exams. We put $270,000 on average into every classroom in the state. Only a fraction of it gets into the classroom. For years I proposed classroom-based budgets where the bureaucracy would have to justify how much they are taking out of the classroom for their support and the Democrats killed it in the legislature, saying it is too much trouble to ensure the money gets into the classroom to educate the kids.

Source: Recall debate in Walnut Creek , Sep 3, 2003

Problem lies not with funding but with school management

Last month, Governor Davis called a special session of the legislature to address the growing “crisis” in the public schools. The fact that there is a “crisis” after spending hikes of 67% percent in five years should tell us that the problem lies not with revenues but with management.
Source: State Senate website,, “Issues Directory” , Mar 7, 1999

State bureaucracy isn’t the answer to better education

Neither side seems to have grasped the fact that centralized bureaucracies and top-down management do not work well with diverse populations. Instead of a structure in which the bureaucracy determines the needs of the students, perhaps we should restore a structure where the needs of the students drive the bureaucracy.
Source: State Senate website,, “Issues Directory” , Mar 7, 1999

Students are stuck with ‘annual lottery’ for good teachers

Within a centralized structure of education, regulations and standards are endlessly promulgated - and constantly changed - by those farthest from the individual child. Students are condemned to an annual lottery over whether they win an inspiring teacher or are stuck with a dolt.
Source: State Senate website,, “Issues Directory” , Mar 7, 1999

Decentralized structure is key to improving schools

A decentralized structure that begins with the individual student works quite differently. It would make the current debates over teacher tenure, teacher testing, merit pay, student performance, collective bargaining, class size reduction, curriculum, teaching methodologies and statewide standards simply irrelevant.
Source: State Senate website,, “Issues Directory” , Mar 7, 1999

Best teachers should make six-figure salary

The best teachers in the system would earn salaries in six figures, while the worst teachers would be naturally encouraged to find work elsewhere - without a single review board or standardized test.
Source: State Senate website,, “Issues Directory” , Mar 7, 1999

Encourages ‘cut-throat competition’ between teachers

Would [my education plan] encourage “cut-throat competition” among teachers? Hopefully. Competition breeds excellence. Let teachers with outstanding credentials and performance records advertise their qualifications. Let them specialize in methodologies they are most comfortable with. And let the parents choose among them.
Source: State Senate website,, “Issues Directory” , Mar 7, 1999

Bilingual education is segregation

Forty-three years after the US Supreme Court ruled that segregated classrooms were immoral, un-American and unconstitutional, more than one-fifth of California’s school children are being denied equal educational opportunity in racially segregated classrooms with a 95 percent failure rate. In one of those oxymorons only a bureaucrat could love, it is called “bilingual” education.
Source: State Senate website,, “Issues Directory” , Sep 27, 1997

Bilingual programs are ‘cash cow’ for Democrats

California children with Hispanic surnames today are forced into bilingual programs. If the Republican Party will not stand up for children, who will? Bilingual programs are a cash cow for the teachers’ unions and the teachers’ unions are a cash cow for the Democratic Party.
Source: State Senate website,, “Issues Directory” , Sep 27, 1997

Centralization & consolidation reduce school performance

One of the great and ignored lessons of late-20th Century education policy is that the more the public schools are centralized, consolidated and bureaucratized, the more they cost and the less they produce.
Source: State Senate website,, “Issues Directory” , Mar 7, 1999

Parents are most protective guardians of education quality

Let’s begin with some self-evident truths. First, education occurs not at the state or local level. It occurs with the individual child. Second, the most jealous guardians of education quality are not the bureaucrats or the politicians or even the teachers. They are individual parents looking after individual children.
Source: State Senate website,, “Issues Directory” , Mar 7, 1999

Voted YES 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 NO 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

2012 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Education: Tom McClintock on other issues:
CA Gubernatorial:
Antonio Villaraigosa
Eric Garcetti
Jerry Brown
Jerry Sanders
CA Senatorial:
Barbara Boxer
Dianne Feinstein

Lame-duck session 2012:
KY-4: Thomas Massie(R)
MI-11:Dave Curson(D)
NJ-9: Donald Payne Jr.(D)
WA-1: Suzan DelBene(D)

Re-seated Former Reps:
AZ-1: Ann Kirkpatrick(D)
AZ-5: Matt Salmon(R)
FL-8: Alan Grayson(D)
IL-11:Bill Foster(D)
NH-1: Carol Shea-Porter(D)
NV-3: Dina Titus(D)
NY-24:Dan Maffei(D)
TX-36:Steve Stockman(R)

2013 Resignations and Replacements:
AL-1:Jo Bonner(R,resigned)
IL-2:Jesse Louis Jackson(D,resigned)
IL-2:Robin Kelly(D)
MA-5:Ed Markey(D,to Senate)
MA-8:Stephen Lynch(D)
MO-8:Jo Ann Emerson(R,resigned)
MO-8:Jason Smith(R,elected June 2013)
SC-1:Tim Scott(R,resigned)
SC-1:Mark Sanford(R)
SC-1:Elizabeth Colbert-Busch(D)
Newly-elected Democrats:
AZ-9: Kyrsten Sinema
CA-2: Jared Huffman
CA-7: Ami Bera
CA-15:Eric Swalwell
CA-24:Julia Brownley
CA-29:Tony Cardenas
CA-35:Gloria Negrete McLeod
CA-36:Raul Ruiz
CA-41:Mark Takano
CA-47:Alan Lowenthal
CA-51:Juan Vargas
CA-52:Scott Peters
CT-5: Elizabeth Esty
FL-18:Patrick Murphy
FL-22:Lois Frankel
FL-26:Joe Garcia
HI-2: Tulsi Gabbard
IL-8: Tammy Duckworth
IL-10:Brad Schneider
IL-12:Bill Enyart
IL-17:Cheri Bustos
MD-6: John Delaney
MA-4: Joe Kennedy III
MI-5: Dan Kildee
MN-8: Rick Nolan
NV-4: Steven Horsford
NH-2: Annie Kuster
NM-1: Michelle Lujan-Grisham
NY-5: Grace Meng
NY-10:Hakeem Jeffries
NY-18:Sean Maloney
OH-10:Joyce Beatty
PA-17:Matt Cartwright
TX-16:Beto O`Rourke
TX-20:Joaquin Castro
TX-23:Pete Gallego
TX-33:Marc Veasey
TX-34:Filemon Vela
WA-6: Derek Kilmer
WA-10:Denny Heck
WI-2: Mark Pocan
Newly-elected Republicans:
AR-4: Tom Cotton
CA-1: Doug LaMalfa
CA-21:David Valadao
CA-41:Paul Cook
FL-3: Ted Yoho
FL-6: Ron DeSantis
FL-19:Trey Radel
GA-9: Doug Collins
IL-15:Rodney Davis
IN-2: Jackie Walorski
IN-5: Susan Brooks
IN-6: Luke Messer
KY-6: Andy Barr
MI-11:Kerry Bentivolio
MO-2: Ann Wagner
MT-0: Steve Daines
NY-26:Chris Collins
NC-8: Richard Hudson
NC-9: Robert Pittenger
NC-11:Mark Meadows
NC-13:George Holding
ND-0: Kevin Cramer
OH-2: Brad Wenstrup
OH-14:Dave Joyce
OK-1: Jim Bridenstine
OK-2: Markwayne Mullin
PA-4: Scott Perry
PA-12:Keith Rothfus
SC-7: Tom Rice
TX-14:Randy Weber
TX-25:Roger Williams
UT-2: Chris Stewart
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Page last updated: Jun 29, 2013