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Rick Lazio on Education


More teachers, smaller classes, no Washington decisions

LAZIO: I believe in making changes to put our children first. Mrs. Clinton believes in making sure that decision making on education stays in Washington. I want teachers and parents to make decisions about their education.

CLINTON: Where we part company is that he didnít support [the Bill for] 100,000 teachers in the classroom. And he has not gone along with the bipartisan plan to build and repair our schools so that we actually can have those lower classroom sizes. And he supports vouchers, which I oppose.

LAZIO: I have voted twice to reduce class size, twice for billions to help us recruit new teachers. I have been a co-sponsor of bipartisan legislation for school construction. You know that. Whatís important here is that we understand the difference between us. Mrs. Clinton believes that all the decisions should be made in Washington, that we should force categorical programs. I understand that communities should be making those decisions on a community-by-community basis.

Source: NY Senate debate on NBC Oct 28, 2000

Teacher testing for new teachers and current teachers

LAZIO: Mrs. Clinton said that she was for teacher testing. Well, but only for new teachers. Iím for teacher competency examinations for teachers whether theyíre new teachers, but more importantly teachers that have been in the system for some time. I donít understand why you would not want to have examinations for teachers that were already in the system that are perhaps failing our children.

Q: Is it true what he says - that youíre for testing new teachers but not teachers who are already in the system?

CLINTON: Thatís right. And thatís what the New York law is. You know, I agree that we should be testing new teachers. I believe that we ought to have pay for performance where we evaluate teachers. I think we ought to streamline the due process standards so that teachers that donít measure up would no longer be in the classroom.

Source: NY Senate debate on NBC Oct 28, 2000

Arkansas education: high spending, disastrous performance

LAZIO: In Arkansas, when you had responsibility for education, the student performance when you left was at the bottom of the barrel. Spending was up. Taxes were up.

CLINTON: The work that was done in Arkansas received numerous awards and praise, because we really started something that Iím very proud of. And test scores went up in third grade and sixth grade. High school graduation went up. The work was done against great odds, in a very poor state.

LAZIO: I have a very different perspective on your record in Arkansas. And I would just urge the voters not to rely on what Iím saying, but to look it up.

CLINTON: Iím not here to defend Arkansas. Iím here to run for the Senate to represent New York.

LAZIO: I realize that you donít want to talk about Arkansas because that experience was a disaster for Arkansas.

CLINTON: Iím happy to talk about it if thatís what you want to spend your time talking about.

LAZIO: Thatís your record, Mrs. Clinton. You canít run away from your record.

Source: NY Senate debate on NBC Oct 28, 2000

Testing only new teachers is trap by teachersí unions

LAZIO [to Clinton]: Why you would say to a new teacher that just came out of school and has learned the most current up-to-date methodology for teaching-why you would say teacher testing is OK for them but itís not OK for somebody thatís been out there and teaching for 15 years and may have lost touch with their ability to use the latest techniques. And I think itís because in the end Iím not trapped by the status quo. Iím not trapped by the teachersí unions, which I think Mrs. Clinton is.

Q: Are you trapped by the teachers unions?

CLINTON: No. In fact Iím very much in line with what I think will work and what experts in the field think. You know, Iím a lawyer. I had to take a bar exam. Mr. Lazioís a lawyer. He took a bar exam and he wasnít tested every five years. I think teachers are professionals and should be treated as professionals. Thatís why I believe that we should test teachers in the beginning to make sure that when they got their teaching degree, that theyíre qualified.

Source: NY Senate debate on NBC Oct 28, 2000

Immoral to force kids to stay in bad schools

Q: Why donít you support vouchers for low-income parents?

CLINTON: I could not support vouchers that would take money away from schools where teachers are in partitioned hallways, where the teacher has the only textbook in the classroom. If we can get class size down, if we can provide qualified teachers, we can make a difference. I support adding 100,000 teachers to lower class size. I support the bipartisan school construction funding authority that would permit New York to have school construction without raising taxes.

LAZIO: I have voted twice to support hiring additional teachers. Under my plan, New York would not get shortchanged. Under Mrs. Clintonís plan, New Yorkers would be subsidizing Southern states. I think itís immoral to force a child to go to a school where they canít learn. Poor parents want to have the choice to give their children the education that I want for my children. I trust parents to make that decision, and thatís a major philosophical difference.

Source: (X-ref Hillary) Senate debate in Manhattan Oct 8, 2000

Buffalo teacherís strike illegal; get back to classrooms

Q: Here in Buffalo, union teachers are illegally on strike at this moment. The school board is strapped for funds, and both parents and students are caught right in the middle. Do you support their current job action even though itís illegal under New Yorkís Taylor Law?

CLINTON: Well, I am hoping that theyíre negotiating and will be back in the classroom full-time without any other problems. The children deserve that and we need to get education started this year. Iím very much committed to doing everything I can to move the education agenda forward. And I do support the idea that the teachers should be working and their action against the Taylor Law is illegal, and I do not believe that thatís appropriate.

LAZIO: I am opposed to teachers striking where it is against the law. In this case, it has been deemed illegal. They need to get back to the classroom, and we should put as our first priority, teaching our children.

Source: Clinton-Lazio debate, Buffalo NY Sep 13, 2000

$97 Billion Education Plan

Lazioís $97 Billion Education Plan
Loan forgiveness for teachersí college tuition. $5.75 billion
Alternative Certification$250 million
Mentoring to Novice Teachers$500 million
Teacher testing $5 billion
Special education (Disabilities Education Act grants)$60 billion
Science and technology ($3B to keep current; $1B for math & science areas)$4 billion
School vouchers (ďopportunity scholarshipsĒ)$5 billion
Flexible funds (ďHometown ChoiceĒ) $10 billion
School construction & renovation$5 billion
Source: NY Times Sep 12, 2000

Provide opportunity for education for all children

Every child in America deserves the best education possible. Good education is the key to a bright and successful future. Congress is getting many things done for our children. We are sending money directly to the classroom, buying more computers, ensuring teachers & children feel safe in schools, giving parents more control over school choice, and making college more affordable. [We should give] our children every educational opportunity that leads to their independence and personal satisfaction.
Source: Issues Briefing, www.lazio.com May 4, 2000

Supports easier certification & mentoring new teachers

The Teacher Empowerment Act (TEA) is designed to improve teacher quality by supporting initiatives to keep the best teachers in the classroom. TEA provides $2 billion over five years from existing programs for teacher training initiatives and class size reduction. 92% of this money goes directly to the local level.
Source: Issues Briefing, www.lazio.com May 4, 2000

Instill standards via local control over spending

Weíve got to instill standards in our schools. Weíve got to make sure that the diploma your child gets will help him or her get a job in the next century. To accomplish this we need to spend our education dollars in the classroom, not on bureaucrats. We need to reward good teachers for their hard work. And we need to recognize that every community, every school, is unique so we need to find local solutions.
Source: Speech to the Monroe County Conservative Party Aug 27, 1999

Ed-Flex gives school spending flexibility

Ed-Flex allows schools across the country to decide how to spend more than $10 billion annually in federal education dollars. To provide our children with the best education possible, the parents, teachers and administrators who care about our children need a stronger voice in education. They need to be the ones who decide where education dollars are spent. Ed-Flex is a good first step towards the goal we all share: guaranteeing that America to be the worldís educational leader.
Source: Speech to the Monroe County Conservative Party Aug 27, 1999

Teacher testing; merit pay; block grants for teachers

Source: National Political Awareness Test 1998 (vote-smart.org) Jul 2, 1998


Rick Lazio on School Choice

Vouchers help the poor escape failing schools

Q: Do you support vouchers for private schools?

CLINTON: Iíve visited schools throughout the state and some of them are among the finest in the world that you could find anywhere. But others are overcrowded, under-resourced. Thatís why I put forth a plan to try to get the teachers that we need and to provide the funds that are required for modernizing our schools, as well as setting high standards, making them safe from violence. I do not support vouchers. And the reason I donít is because I donít think we can afford to siphon dollars away from our underfunded public schools.

LAZIO: I believe that itís immoral to ask a child to go to a school where they canít learn or where theyíre not safe. 80 percent of African-American and Hispanic parents feel that they need it. Why should we trap poor kids in failing schools simply because the teachers unions wonít agree with it?

Source: Clinton-Lazio debate, Buffalo NY Sep 13, 2000

Vouchers for private school tuition

On Education. Lazio supported vouchers to help parents pay their childrenís private school tuition, and he voted to allow states to deny public education to illegal immigrants.
Source: David Rosenbaum, New York Times Jun 4, 2000

Supports limited vouchers & charter schools

Source: National Political Awareness Test 1998 (vote-smart.org) Jul 2, 1998

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

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