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Bob Smith on Education

Republican Sr Senator (NH; retired 2002)


Teacher-led prayer in public schools

Q: Do you support or oppose teacher-led prayer in public schools?

A: Support.

Source: Email interview on 2010 Senate race with OnTheIssues.org Mar 4, 2010

Parents choose schools via vouchers

Q: Do you support or oppose parents choosing schools via vouchers?

A: Support.

Source: Email interview on 2010 Senate race with OnTheIssues.org Mar 4, 2010

Special Ed: Feds should pay for mandates; FY99 is close

When I was a school board chairman, I saw first hand how important special education funds are in helping states and localities to comply with Federal special education regulations and mandates. The Federal Government must make good on its commitment to fund special education mandates. The final Education budget provides $5.1 billion for IDEA programs. While falling short of completely meeting the Government’s statutory obligation, this represents a significant effort in the context of a limited budget.
Source: senate.gov/~smith “Smith on the Issues” Aug 30, 1999

Amend Constitution for school prayer

Religious freedom is a bedrock constitutional right in this country. It is guaranteed by the Free Exercise of the First Amendment to the Constitution. I strongly support vigorous enforcement of every American’s right to the free exercise of religion. As an exercise of this right, I support prayer in the public schools. I am a co-sponsor of S. J. Res. 15, which is a constitutional amendment that would allow voluntary prayer in the public schools.
Source: senate.gov/~smith “Smith on the Issues” Aug 30, 1999

Federal rules cause educational problems

As the Federal role in education has grown in the last couple of decades, the state of our schools has deteriorated. The Federal Government provides seven cents out of every dollar spent on education in America, but it imposes most of the mandates and rules that hamper communities in their effort to provide the best possible education. I believe that doing that would constitute the greatest contribution to the goal of addressing problems in our schools.
Source: Smith’s Senate Home Page Jul 2, 1999

GOAL 2000: Shut down Department of Education

I call my plan “GOAL 2000”. That’s one goal: shut down the Department of Education by the year 2000. Fire the bureaucrats, auction off the building and close the doors. Give the money back to the tax payers.
Source: Speech to Iowa GOP Convention Jun 12, 1998


Bob Smith on School Choice

Replace federal control with local accountability

Before I was elected to Congress, I was a teacher and school board chairman. Those experiences convinced me that the responsibility for education should reside not with the Federal Government in Washington, DC but with the state and local governments are better positioned to address parent and student concerns in an accountable way. I would rather see the Federal Government reduce its role and allow more local control.
Source: Smith’s Senate Home Page Jul 2, 1999

A+ accounts: $2000/yr to private or parochial schools

I supported legislation to expand an existing law that allows families to set aside $500 yearly in tax-advantaged savings for each child’s college education. The bill would permit families to contribute up to $2000 yearly to an A+ savings account to be used for a child’s education at any school - private, public, sectarian or home school - from kindergarten through college.
Source: Smith’s Senate Home Page Jul 2, 1999

Consumer choice in education will improve failing schools

During my tenure in Congress, I have supported legislation to provide families with expanded opportunities to select the best school for their children. I believe that providing families with real consumer choice in education will spur the competition that will force failing schools to improve.
Source: Smith’s Senate Home Page Jul 2, 1999

Supports school choice; abolish Dept. of Education

As a cosponsor of A+ Accounts to allow parents and guardians to contribute money to education savings accounts with tax-free interest and as a former teacher and school board chairman, Senator Smith has been a consistent supporter of local control and choice in education. He believes that the U.S. Department of Education is unconstitutional and should be completely abolished.
Source: www.smithforpresident.org/issues.htm May 19, 1999

Public, private & parochial vouchers; plus charters

Source: 1996 National Political Awareness Test Jul 2, 1996

Voted NO on funding smaller classes instead of private tutors.

Vote to authorize a federal program aimed at reducing class size. The plan would assist states and local education agencies in recruiting, hiring and training 100,000 new teachers, with $2.4 billion in fiscal 2002. This amendment would replace an amendment allowing parents with children at under-performing schools to use public funding for private tutors.
Reference: Bill S1 ; vote number 2001-103 on May 15, 2001

Voted NO on funding student testing instead of private tutors.

Vote to pass an amendment that would authorize $200 million to provide grants to help states develop assessment systems that describe student achievement. This amendment would replace an amendment by Jeffords, R-VT, which would allow parents with children at under-performing schools to use public funding for private tutors.
Reference: Bill S1 ; vote number 2001-99 on May 10, 2001

Voted NO on spending $448B of tax cut on education & debt reduction.

Vote to reduce the size of the $1.6 trillion tax cut by $448 billion while increasing education spending by $250 billion and providing an increase of approximately $224 billion for debt reduction over 10 years.
Reference: Bill H Con Res 83 ; vote number 2001-69 on Apr 4, 2001

Voted YES on Educational Savings Accounts.

Vote to pass a bill that would permit tax-free savings accounts of up to $2000 per child annually to be used for public or private school tuition or other education expenses.
Reference: Bill S.1134 ; vote number 2000-33 on Mar 2, 2000

Voted YES on allowing more flexibility in federal school rules.

This vote was a motion to invoke cloture on a bill aimed at allowing states to waive certain federal rules normally required in order to use federal school aid. [A YES vote implies support of charter schools and vouchers].
Status: Cloture Motion Rejected Y)55; N)39; NV)6
Reference: Motion to Invoke cloture on Jeffords Amdt #31; Bill S. 280 ; vote number 1999-35 on Mar 9, 1999

Voted YES on education savings accounts.

This Conference Report approved tax-sheltered education savings accounts.
Status: Conf Rpt Agreed to Y)59; N)36; NV)5
Reference: H.R. 2646 Conference Report; Bill H.R. 2646 ; vote number 1998-169 on Jun 24, 1998

Voted YES on school vouchers in DC.

This legislation would have amended the DC spending measure, imposing an unconstitutional school voucher program on the District.
Status: Cloture Motion Rejected Y)58; N)41; NV)1
Reference: DC Appropriations Act; Bill S. 1156 ; vote number 1997-260 on Sep 30, 1997

Voted YES on $75M for abstinence education.

Vote to retain a provision of the Budget Act that funds abstinence education to help reduce teenage pregnancy, using $75 million of the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant Program.
Reference: Bill S 1956 ; vote number 1996-231 on Jul 23, 1996

Voted YES on requiring schools to allow voluntary prayer.

Cut off federal funds to school districts that deny students their right to constitutionally protected voluntary prayer.
Reference: Bill S.1513 ; vote number 1994-236 on Jul 27, 1994

Voted NO on national education standards.

Approval of national education standards.
Status: Bill Passed Y)71; N)25; NV)4
Reference: Goals 2000: Educate America Act; Bill H.R. 1804 ; vote number 1994-34 on Feb 8, 1994

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

Other candidates on Education: Bob Smith on other issues:
NH Gubernatorial:
John Lynch
NH Senatorial:
Jeanne Shaheen
Kelly Ayotte

Retiring as of Jan. 2011:
CT:Dodd(D)
DE:Kaufman(D)
FL:Martinez(R)
FL:LeMieux(R)
IL:Burris(D)
IN:Bayh(D)
KS:Brownback(R)
KY:Bunning(R)
MO:Bond(R)
ND:Dorgan(D)
NH:Gregg(R)
OH:Voinovich(R)
PA:Specter(R)
UT:Bennett(R)
WV:Goodwin(D)

Unseated as of Jan. 2011:
AR:Lincoln(D)
UT:Bennett(R)
WI:Feingold(D)


Newly elected, Nov. 2010:
AR:Boozman(R)
CT:Blumenthal(D)
CO:Bennet(D)
DE:Coons(D)
FL:Rubio(R)
IL:Kirk(R)
IN:Coats(R)
KS:Moran(R)
KY:Paul(R)
MO:Blunt(R)
ND:Hoeven(R)
NH:Ayotte(R)
NY2:Gillibrand(D)
OH:Portman(R)
PA:Toomey(R)
UT:Lee(R)
WI:Johnson(R)
WV:Manchin(D)


Re-elected, Nov. 2010:
AK:Murkowski(I)
AL:Shelby(R)
AZ:McCain(R)
CA:Boxer(D)
GA:Isakson(R)
HI:Inouye(D)
IA:Grassley(R)
ID:Crapo(R)
LA:Vitter(R)
MD:Mikulski(D)
NC:Burr(R)
NV:Reid(D)
NY6:Schumer(D)
OK:Coburn(R)
OR:Wyden(D)
SC:DeMint(R)
SD:Thune(R)
VT:Leahy(D)
WA:Murray(D)
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Page last updated: Nov 26, 2010