John Barrasso on Education
Republican Jr Senator
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 and 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.
Letter to the Senate Subcommittee on Labor Health and Human Services, and Education: "Eleven U.S. senators signed a letter asking Senate appropriators to block the use of funding to the Education Department to promote the Common Core education standards. The senators wrote a letter asking for appropriations legislative language 'to restore state decision-making and accountability with respect to state academic content standards.' Text of the letter:"
While the Common Core State Standards Initiative was initially billed as a voluntary effort between states, federal incentives have clouded the picture. The selection criteria designed by the U.S. Department of Education for the Race to the Top (RTTT) Program provided that for a state to have a reasonable chance to compete for funding, it must adopt a "common set of K-12 standards" matching the description of the Common Core.
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