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Karen Bass on Education

 

 


Voted NO 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

$25B to renovate or repair elementary schools.

Bass signed Fix America's Schools Today Act (FAST)

Source: HR2948&S1597 11-HR2948 on Sep 15, 2011

Comprehensive sex ed for sexually-active adolescents.

Bass co-sponsored Real Education for Healthy Youth Act

Award competitive grants to provide adolescents with comprehensive sex education to:

  1. replicate evidence-based sex education programs,
  2. substantially incorporate elements of evidence-based sex education programs, or
  3. create a demonstration project based on generally accepted characteristics of effective sex education programs.
Prohibits federal funds provided under this Act from being used for health education programs that:
  1. deliberately withhold life-saving information about HIV;
  2. are medically inaccurate or have been scientifically shown to be ineffective;
  3. promote gender stereotypes;
  4. are insensitive and unresponsive to the needs of sexually active youth or lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender youth; or
  5. are inconsistent with the ethical imperatives of medicine and public health.

Opponent's argument against bill: (Nick Wing on Huffington Post) An abstinence-only effort, introduced the same day, the Abstinence Education Reallocation Act, stands as an effective counter to the Democratic-backed Real Education for Healthy Youth Act.

According to the text of the abstinence-only bill, sex education programs would need to be "medically accurate" and teach the "skills and benefits of sexual abstinence as the optimal sexual health behavior for youth" in order to qualify for grant money. The bill also calls for applicable programs to focus on the "holistic health, economic, and societal benefits that can be gained by refraining from non-marital sexual activity," as well as to provide an "understanding of how drugs, alcohol, and the irresponsible use of social media can influence sexual decision-making and can contribute to risky and often aggressive sexual behavior."

Source: H.R.725 / S.372 13-H0725 on Feb 14, 2013

10/10 Loan Forgiveness: cancel college loans after 10 years.

Bass sponsored Student Loan Fairness Act

Congressional Summary:Student Loan Fairness Act:

Opponent's argument against bill: (Blog post on voices.yahoo.com, "Why I'm Against the Student Loan Fairness Act"): The two key points to this bill are:

  1. The 10-10 plan: Where an individual would be required to make ten years of payments at 10% of their discretionary income, after which their remaining federal student loan debt would be forgiven.
  2. Cap federal interest rates at 3.4% and allowing existing borrowers whose educational loan debt exceeds their income to convert their private loan debt into federal Direct Loans.
    Source: H.R.1330 13-H1330 on Mar 21, 2013

    No-strings-attached block grant will kill transparency.

    Bass voted NAY A-PLUS Amendment To Student Success Act

    Heritage Action Summary: An amendment offered by Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) and Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) to the Student Success Act (H.R. 5). The amendment, known as A-PLUS (Academic Partnerships Lead Us to Success), would give the states the ability to consolidate their federal education funds and use them for any lawful education purpose they deem beneficial.

    Heritage Foundation recommendation to vote YES: (7/8/2015): A-PLUS lets states escape No Child Left Behind's prescriptive programmatic requirements. At its core, A-PLUS delivers on the promise of "restoring state and local control over the 10% of education funding financed by the federal government," moving dollars out of the hands of federal bureaucrats and political appointees and into the hands of those closer to the students. Now is the time for Congress to restore federalism in education, empower parents and students instead of bureaucrats and unions, and remove archaic obstacles that have prevented true opportunity for all.

    US News and World Report recommendation to vote NO: (4/7/2015): A-PLUS [is intended as] a no-strings-attached block grant. There isn't all that much the federal government can do well in education, but it's because of federally-required transparency that charter schools and voucher schools can demonstrate that they work. For example, New York City's Success Academy scores in the top 1% of all the state's public schools in math and in the top 3% in English. When Success Academy came under fire from teachers' union-backed Mayor Bill de Blasio, it was able to fight back with numbers to prove it. If a strong-union state were to receive a no-strings-attached block grant, transparency would be the first thing to go. A no-strings-attached block grant is an overreaction to federal overreach.

    Legislative outcome: Failed House 195 to 235 (no Senate vote)

    Source: Congressional vote 15-H0005 on Jul 8, 2015

    Oppose private and religious school voucher programs.

    Bass voted NAY SOAR Act

    Heritage Action Summary: The House will vote to reauthorize the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results (SOAR) Act (H.R. 10). The bill would continue funding through Fiscal Year 2021 and allow eligible students in Washington, D.C. to enroll in a participating private school.Analysis by Heritage Action:

    ACLU recommendation to vote NO: (Letter to U.S.House, 3/29/2011): The ACLU urges Congress to oppose the SOAR Act, legislation to restart and expand Washington DC's failed private and religious school voucher pilot program. Originally started as a five-year pilot program in 2004, the DC voucher program is the nation's first and only federally-funded private and religious school voucher program. Under the federal voucher pilot program, funds were provided to schools even though they infuse their curricular materials with specific religious content and even though they are not covered by many of the nation's civil rights statutes that would otherwise protect students against discrimination. Additionally, each of the congressionally-mandated studies to explore the pilot program concluded that the voucher program had no significant effect on the academic achievement.

    Cato Institute recommendation to vote YES: (4/28/2016): The Obama administration has repeatedly worked to undermine or eliminate the DC school choice program, even though it has the support of local Democratic politicians such as the DC Mayor and a majority of the DC City Council. Low-income students shouldn't be condemned to low-quality schools just because their parents cannot afford a home in a wealthy neighborhood. The DC program was an important step toward breaking the link between home prices and school quality.

    Legislative outcome: Passed by the House 240-191-3; never came to a vote in the Senate.

    Source: Congressional vote 15-H0010 on Oct 21, 2015

    Make two years of community college free.

    Bass signed making two years of community college free

    Excerpts from press release from Tammy Baldwin, Senate sponsor: The America's College Promise Act makes two years of community college free by:

    Community, technical, and tribal colleges enroll 40% of all college students today. Community colleges are uniquely positioned to partner with employers to create tailored training programs to meet economic needs within their communities such as nursing and advanced manufacturing.

    Opposing argument: (Cato Institute, "College Courtesy of the Taxpayer? No Thanks," Jan. 9, 2015): One look at either community college outcomes or labor market outlooks reveals free college to be educational folly. Community college completion rates are atrocious: a mere 19.5% of community college students complete their programs. Meanwhile, the for-profit sector has an almost 63% completion rate. And [about 70%] of the new job categories in coming years will require a high school diploma or less.

    Opposing argument: (Heritage Foundation, "Free Community College Is a Bad Deal", July 15, 2016): Free college proposals would subject community colleges to the same types of subsidies-induced inflation endemic at four-year institutions. And low-income students already have access to federal Pell Grants, which can cover the bulk of community college tuition. By contrast, a more open market of alternative schooling models, such as online or vocational education programs, could better tailor degrees at a lower cost.

    Source: S.1716 & H.R.2962 15-H2962 on Jul 8, 2015

    Voted YES on private lawsuits for school race discrimination.

    Bass voted YEA Equity and Inclusion Enforcement Act

    Legislative Summary:This bill authorizes private civil causes of action for discrimination on the ground of race, color, or national origin, including anti-Semitism) in programs receiving federal financial assistance.

    Trump's Statement of Administration Policy (against): The Administration strongly opposes passage of H.R. 2574. This bill fails to advance equality in education, while expanding bureaucracy, encouraging burdensome litigation, and imposing costs on recipients of Federal financial assistance. H.R. 2574 seeks to validate and expand the divisive regulatory agenda of the previous administration--advancing an ideological mission and enriching favored special interests like trial lawyers at the expense of students, educators, and taxpayers. The bill would require each recipient of Federal financial assistance to appoint a compliance coordinator, which would impose additional administrative burdens. H.R. 2574 would redirect vital resources that are needed to serve students in the pursuit of an ideological agenda.

    Rep. Elaine Luria in support: H.R. 2574 would allow private individuals to file lawsuits under the Civil Rights Act's Title VI authority, allowing students and parents to remedy discrimination in education. "Every student has the right to access public education, free from discriminatory practices, said Congresswoman Luria. "By focusing on equity and inclusion, we move towards a public education system that is more just and will benefit every student, regardless of sex, ethnicity, ability, or their zip code."

    Legislative outcome:Passed House 232-188-10, roll no. 192 on Sept 16, 2020; died in Senate without a vote.

    Source: Congressional vote 20-HR2574 on May 8, 2019

    2021-22 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Education: Karen Bass on other issues:
    CA Gubernatorial:
    Antonio Villaraigosa
    Brian Dahle
    Caitlyn Jenner
    Carly Fiorina
    David Hadley
    Delaine Eastin
    Doug Ose
    Eric Garcetti
    Eric Swalwell
    Gavin Newsom
    Hilda Solis
    Jerry Brown
    Jerry Sanders
    John Chiang
    John Cox
    Kamala Harris
    Kevin Faulconer
    Kevin Paffrath
    Larry Elder
    Laura Smith
    Neel Kashkari
    Travis Allen
    Xavier Becerra
    CA Senatorial:
    Dianne Feinstein
    Duf Sundheim
    Greg Brannon
    Kamala Harris
    Kevin de Leon
    Loretta Sanchez
    Michael Eisen
    Rocky Chavez
    Tom Del Beccaro
    Open Seats / Turnovers 2022:
    AL-5: Mo Brooks (R) running for AL Senator
    CA-37: Karen Bass (D) running for mayor of Los Angeles
    FL-10: Val Demings (D) running for FL Senator
    FL-13: Charlie Crist (D) running for FL governor
    HI-2: Kai Kahele (D) running for MD governor
    MD-4: Anthony G. Brown (D) running for attorney general of Maryland
    MO-4: Vicky Hartzler (R) running for MO Senator
    MO-7: Billy Long (R) running for MO Senator
    NY-1: Lee Zeldin (R) running for NY governor
    NY-3: Thomas Suozzi (D) running for NY governor
    NC-8: Ted Budd (R) running for NC Senator
    NC-11: Madison Cawthorn (R) Incumbent lost renomination
    OH-13: Tim Ryan (D) running for OH Senator
    OK-2: Markwayne Mullin (R) running for OK Senator
    OR-5: Kurt Schrader (D) Incumbent lost renomination
    PA-17: Conor Lamb (D) running for PA Senator
    SC-7: Tom Rice (R) Incumbent lost renomination
    TX-1: Louie Gohmert (R) running for attorney general of Texas
    VT-0: Peter Welch (D) running for VT Senator

    Special Elections 2021:
    LA-2: Troy Carter (R, April 2021)
    LA-5: Julia Letlow (R, March 2021)
    NM-1: Melanie Stansbury (D, June 2021)
    OH-11: Shontel Brown (D, Nov. 2021)
    OH-15: Mike Carey (R, Nov. 2021)
    TX-6: Jake Ellzey (R, July 2021)
    Hot Races 2022:
    CA-27: Christy Smith (D) vs. Mike Garcia (R)
    FL 27: Annette Taddeo (D) vs. Maria Elvira Salazar (R)
    GA-7: Carolyn Bourdeaux (D) lost redistricting race to Lucy McBath (D)
    GA-10: Vernon Jones(R) vs. Paul Broun (R,lost May 24 primary) to replace Jody Hice (R) running for Secretary of GA
    ME-2: Bruce Poliquin (R) rematch against Jared Golden (D)
    MI-10: John James (R) - running for newly redistricted seat
    MI-11: Andy Levin (D) redistricted to face Haley Stevens (D)
    MT 1: Ryan Zinke (R) - running for newly created seat
    MT-2: Al Olszewski(R) vs. Sam Rankin(Libertarian) vs. Matt Rosendale(R)
    NJ-7: Thomas Kean Jr. (R) challenging Tom Malinowski (R)
    NY-10: Bill de Blasio (D) challenging Mondaire Jones (D)
    NY-11: Max Rose (D) challenging Nicole Malliotakis (R)
    NY 12: Carolyn Maloney (D) redistricted to face Jerry Nadler (D)
    RI-2: Seth Magaziner (D) vs. Allan Fung (R)
    RI-1: Allen Waters (R) vs. David Cicilline (D)
    TX-34: Mayra Flores (R) - Elected SPEL June 2022; general election Nov. 2022 against Vicente Gonzalez (D)
    WA-4: Brad Klippert (R) challenging Dan Newhouse (R)
    WV-2: David McKinley lost a redistricting race to fellow incumbent Alex Mooney

    Special Elections 2022:
    AK-0: Sarah Palin (R) vs. Al Gross (Independent)
    CA-22: Connie Conway (R) replaced Devin Nunes on June 7.
    FL-20: Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (D) replaced Alcee Hastings on Jan. 11.
    MN-1: vacancy left by Jim Hagedorn (R), deceased Feb. 17; SPEL on August 9.
    NE-1: Jeffrey Fortenberry (R) Resigned on March 31, after being convicted; Mike Flood (R) in SPEL on June 28.
    NY-19: Marc Molinaro (R) running for SPEL Aug. 23 for seat vacated by Antonio Delgado (D), now Lt.Gov.
    TX-34: Mayra Flores (R) SPEL June 14 for seat vacated by Filemon Vela Jr. (D)
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