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Dick Cheney on Education

Vice President of the United States under George W. Bush


We are making significant progress with No Child Left Behind

CHENEY: 49 percent increase in funding for elementary and secondary education under No Child Left Behind.

EDWARDS: They didn’t fund the mandates that they put on the schools all over this country. That’s one of the reasons 800 teachers have been laid off in Cleveland. 1/3 of our public schools are failing under the Bush administration. Half of African-Americans are dropping out of high school. Half of Hispanic-American are dropping out of high school. We have a clear plan to improve our public schools that starts with getting our best teachers into the schools where we need them the most by creating incentives for them to go there.

CHENEY: We are making significant progress there. We are closing the achievement gap. The results coming in from a number of studies show, without question, that on math and reading, that in fact our minority students, our Hispanic and African-American students are doing better, and that gap between them and the majority population is, in fact, closing.

Source: Edwards-Cheney debate: 2004 Vice Presidential , Oct 5, 2004

Bush passed most significant education reform in 40 years

Public schools are a key to being sure that every child has a chance to succeed and to rise in the world. [Before 2000] our schools were shuffling too many children from grade to grade without giving them the skills and knowledge they need. So Pres. Bush brought both parties together to pass the most significant education reform in 40 years. With higher standards and new resources, America’s schools are now on an upward path to excellence and not for just a few children, but for every child
Source: 2004 Republican Convention Keynote speech , Sep 1, 2004

Bush focuses on accountability; Gore on status quo

Cheney calling education “probably the single most important issue in this campaign.” He said that Bush and he would promote accountability through standardized testing, push improvement in student reading abilities and establish education savings accounts. He said they would be tax-free up to $5,000 a year.

He said Gore is “a defender of the status quo. I don’t think Al Gore understands the meaning of accountability. Al Gore focuses on what resources go in, not results.”

Source: Bob von Sternberg, Minneapolis Star Tribune , Oct 30, 2000

Demand accountability so no child is left behind

Q: What is your education plan?

CHENEY: I think public education is the solution. There’s been no progress on reading scores in the last eight years. We’ve had a significant increase in spending for education, but it has produced almost no positive results. We’ve graduated 15 million kids from high school in the last 15 years who can’t read. They are permanently sentenced to a lifetime of failure. Governor Bush and I want to emphasize local controls so that people can decide what’s best for their kids. And we want to insist on high standards and accountability. We have to test every child every year to know whether or not we’re making progress. This is the most important issue in this campaign.

LIEBERMAN: You cannot reform education without spending money. We have committed $170 billion: to recruit 100,000 new teachers, to help local school districts build new buildings. We’re going to give the middle class the ability to deduct up to $10,000 a year in the cost of college tuition.

Source: Vice-Presidential debate , Oct 5, 2000

Teach reading, writing, and values

He talked about Bush’s education program and its emphasis on teaching children about character. “Yes, we want them to read and write, but we want them to know right from wrong,” Cheney said.
Source: AP Story, NY Times , Aug 29, 2000

Tests will be taken, results will be measured

For eight years, the achievement gap in our schools has grown worse, poor and disadvantaged children falling further and further behind. For all of their sentimental talk about children, Clinton and Gore have done nothing to help children oppressed by bureaucracy, monopoly, and mediocrity. But those days are ending. When George W. Bush is president and I am vice president, tests will be taken, results will be measured, and schools will answer to parents and no child will be left behind.
Source: Speech accepting nomination for Vice Presidency , Aug 2, 2000

Voted against Head Start; but with surplus, supports it

Cheney said his opposition to social programs including Head Start, the preschool program for poor kids, was fueled by the large federal deficit. He said that today, in an age of budget surpluses, he’d vote differently.

“I voted against various worthy programs,” he said. “I would not vote against Head Start today.” He mentioned that there were questions about whether the program was being operated “in the fashion that would allow us to get the maximum benefit out of it.”

Source: Thomas Register of Congressional Votes , Jul 26, 2000

Voted against Head Start, and against Dept. of Education

On Education, [in Congress in the 1980s], Cheney consistently opposed funding of Head Start and voted against creating the Department of Education.
Source: CNN.com , Jul 24, 2000

Supports school prayer

Source: US News & World Report , Jul 11, 1999

Supports certifying military retirees as teachers

Q: The Department of Defense had indicated its desire to work with the Department of Education in placing retiring officers and senior enlisted personnel into the educational field, thus strengthening our educational system. Comments?

A: We’re making some progress. The decisions have to be made at the state level. States have to agree to allow alternative credentials to be used for the certification of teachers. Some states have begun that process. We’ve got some great folks in the US military who are leaving because their services are no longer needed as we downsize, and many of them have an interest in moving into the education community.

We probably run the biggest training and educational establishment in the world today, in the Department of Defense. If we can move some of those talented folks over to work in the public school systems around the country, I think it would be a wise use of a very valuable asset.

Source: Speech at Lawrence Technical University , Sep 14, 1992

Supports school-based management; & tax-deductible loans

Source: Thomas Register of Congressional Votes , Jan 1, 1988

Supported grants for low-income “bootstrap schools”

    Cheney co-sponsored H.R.5356 (1988):A bill to make grants to local educational agencies (LEAs) to enhance the quality of education through the establishment of bootstrap schools. LEAs are eligible where poverty is high. The grants can be used only for:
  1. planning and outreach activities directly related to enhancing academic programs and services;
  2. acquisition of teaching materials, books, and equipment for educational programs (including computers); and
  3. teacher compensation.
Source: Thomas Register of Congressional Votes , Jan 1, 1988


Dick Cheney on School Choice

Money from failed schools can be used as parents decide best

Q: Regarding the proposed voucher program, wouldn’t that money conceivably take away from the public schools?

A: “We have not advocated vouchers, per se,” Cheney explained that the mechanism that parents could use to spend the money would be up to state and local governments to determine. “The notion that we are somehow anti-public school is simply not the case,” he said. “We want the public schools to work. We want them to be as good as they were when we went to school.”

Cheney explained that Title I money for schools that failed would be given directly to the children’s parents. The parents could then use the money to send their children to a private school or a charter school, or to hire a tutor and send them to another public school. “We’re not proposing to take the money away until the school fails,” he said. “But if the school fails, we think it’s important that federal funds not be used to reinforce failure, that instead that there be accountability built into the system.”

Source: Katharine Seelye & Kevin Sack, NY Times , Sep 19, 2000

Co-sponsored bill for parental choice within public schools

    Cheney co-sponsored H.R.5355 (1988) to establish Federal financial assistance for parental choice open enrollment programs in public schools. Allows grants to be used for:
  1. increasing school attendance and student achievement;
  2. increasing accountability for success of the educational program in schools;
  3. increasing parental involvement and public interest in schools;
  4. establishing and operating distinctive schools with new and innovative approaches to education, including increasing flexibility and autonomy at the school level; and
  5. providing a wider range of choices of educational courses of instruction to educationally and economically disadvantaged children.
  6. Requires that at least 50 percent of a grant be used to carry out the parental choice program.
Source: Thomas Register of Congressional Votes , Jan 1, 1988

Other governors on Education: Dick Cheney on other issues:
WY Gubernatorial:
Matt Mead
WY Senatorial:
John Barrasso
Michael Enzi

Newly elected Nov. 2012:
IN: Mike Pence (R)
NC: Pat McCrory (R)
NH: Maggie Hassan (D)
MT: Steve Bullock (D)
WA: Jay Inslee (D)

Re-elected 2012:
DE: Jack Markell (D)
MO: Jay Nixon (D)
ND: Jack Dalrymple (R)
UT: Gary Herbert (R)
VT: Peter Shumlin (D)
WI: Scott Walker (R)
WV: Earl Ray Tomblin (D)

Up for re-election 2013:
NJ: Chris Christie
VA: Bob McDonnell
Up for re-election 2014:
AK: Sean Parnell
AL: Robert Bentley
AR: Mike Beebe
AZ: Jan Brewer
CA: Jerry Brown
CO: John Hickenlooper
CT: Dan Malloy
FL: Rick Scott
GA: Nathan Deal
HI: Neil Abercrombie
IA: Terry Branstad
ID: Butch Otter
IL: Pat Quinn
KS: Sam Brownback
MA: Deval Patrick
MD: Martin O'Malley
ME: Paul LePage
MI: Rick Snyder
MN: Mark Dayton
NH: Maggie Hassan
NM: Susana Martinez
NV: Brian Sandoval
NY: Andrew Cuomo
OH: John Kasich
OK: Mary Fallin
OR: John Kitzhaber
PA: Tom Corbett
RI: Linc Chafee
SC: Nikki Haley
SD: Dennis Daugaard
TN: Bill Haslam
TX: Rick Perry
VT: Peter Shumlin
WI: Scott Walker
WY: Matt Mead
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[Title9]

Page last updated: Apr 25, 2013