Tom Tancredo on Education

Republican Representative (CO-6)


Tax credits for private school tuition

Tancredo served in Congress for 10 years and ran for president in 2008 to draw attention to his crusade to crack down on illegal immigration. In 2010, he entered the chaotic election for Colorado governor as a member of the American Constitution Party and finished ahead of the Republican candidate, political neophyte Dan Maes.

He supports tax credits for private school tuition and cutting government jobs, and he opposes the gun-control bills Hickenlooper signed last year.

Source: Durango Herald on 2014 Colorado gubernatorial race , Jan 4, 2014

We don’t need the Department of Education

I had the opportunity to serve under Reagan as the regional director for the Department of Education. Our task was to try to narrow it down, because we knew we couldn’t legislatively get rid of it although we wanted to. In my region, we went from about 222 people. It took us about four or five years to get down to about 60 people. We’ve gotten rid of 80% of the people in this department; has anybody been able to tell the difference? Not a single soul said they had. If we had gone to 0, you’d never know the difference. That’s because we don’t need the department. It’s an encumbrance on our attempt to actually teach children in this country, as is the federal government and its intervention and its rules. You can’t say on one hand, you’re against having government intervention and on the other hand, tell us that you want music and art and everything else in the school. That’s not the job of a president. It is the job of a governor. That’s what you should run for if you want to dictate curriculum.
Source: 2007 Des Moines Register Republican Debate , Dec 12, 2007

It’s racist to say integration needed to educate black kids

Q: The Supreme Court recently ruled that even voluntary integration in America’s public schools is unconstitutional and illegal. Is the Supreme Court right to say that school integration is no longer key to the promise of equal educational opportunity for all?

A: I think it’s a racist thing to say, to even suggest that the only way that a Black child can learn is sitting next to a white child or any other kind of child. It can happen. We can teach children of all colors and we’ve proved it.

Source: 2007 GOP Presidential Forum at Morgan State University , Sep 27, 2007

Supports charter schools and voucher systems

We can teach children of all colors and we’ve proved it. We can do it by giving choice--choice to parents, choice to pick from a wide array of educational opportunities, and then kids go to those schools. They’re all over the country now. There are charter schools and voucher systems. That’s what will give make integration a natural phenomena and it will make kids much, much better in terms of their ability to succeed.
Source: 2007 GOP Presidential Forum at Morgan State University , Sep 27, 2007

Introduced voucher system in Colorado in 1992

In terms of schooling: When you look at the homosexual agenda, where does it manifest itself? It is in the curriculum in the schools throughout this country. There is a very strong movement to influence the curriculum in the schools to obtain some sort of moral neutrality on all issues, including homosexuality. I believe completely in the idea of school choice. I actually introduced a voucher system when I was in Colorado in 1992. It is up to the parent to control that school environment.
Source: 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate , Sep 17, 2007

Present scientific facts that support creationism

Q: Academic freedom is threatened when questioning the theory of evolution. An Iowa State astronomer was denied tenure because of his work in intelligent design in May 2007. Censoring alternative theories--dogmatic indoctrination--has replaced scientific inquiry. Will you encourage a more open approach to the presentation of scientific facts that contradict the theory of evolution?
Source: [Xref Hunter] 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate , Sep 17, 2007

Equal funds for abstinence as contraceptive-based education

Q: I’m 18. One in four sexually-active teens has a sexually-transmitted disease. Meanwhile, 2.5 million American teens like me have taken public abstinence pledges, to save sex until marriage--the only 100%-proven effective solution and prevention for STDs. Would you bring abstinence-education funding onto equal ground with contraceptive-based education?
Source: [Xref Cox] 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate , Sep 17, 2007

Tax-credited programs for Christian schooling

Q: I’m 17, and I’m the product of school choice. In the public schools I repeated the 7th grade three times, because of my deficiency in math & English. My mother then sent me to New Generation, a Christian school. After one year, my math improved 5 grade levels, and my English improved 3. Will you support school choice for other students like me with similar tax-credit programs?
Source: [Xref Keyes] 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate , Sep 17, 2007

Does not believe in evolution

Q: Do you believe in evolution?

McCAIN: Yes.

Q: I’m curious, is there anybody on the stage that does not agree, believe in evolution?

[TANCREDO, HUCKABEE, and BROWNBACK raise their hands, indicating that they do not believe in evolution].

McCAIN: I believe in evolution. But I also believe, when I hike the Grand Canyon and see it at sunset, that the hand of God is there also.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate, at Reagan library, hosted by MSNBC , May 3, 2007

For first time, we’re telling students to NOT learn English

Practitioners of the cult of multiculturalism do things to de-emphasize our society’s uniqueness, such as working against any effort to officially adopt a common language. English is America’s “native tongue” and always has been, but the cult’s influence over our politicians and national policies has led to our essentially telling millions of immigrants and first-generation Americans that they SHOULDN’T learn English. Instead, we will teach their children in their native language.

In Arizona, a state with a large Hispanic population, voters approved Proposition 203 in 2000, banning so-called bilingual education--rules that forced schools to teach children in their native language. Instead, voters mandated the adoption of English-immersion classes that required English-language instruction in all classrooms so the children could more quickly learn the language. Opponents sued, and in response, a federal court ordered the state to increase spending for English-language learners.

Source: In Mortal Danger, by Tom Tancredo, p. 27-28 , Jun 6, 2006

Should be OK to say “Merry Christmas” at public schools

In a school in my district just before Christmas, I was talking to a large number of 5th & 6th graders. When I left the room, I said “Merry Christmas!” There was an uneasy response, with only a few kids acknowledging me and saying, “Okay.” As I was walking out, a teacher’s aide said, “The principal does not like us using the word ‘Christmas’ here.” As I pointed to a Christmas tree in the hallway, I asked, “What is that?” She said it was a “seasonal” tree. I replied, “Are you telling me that we cannot use ‘Christmas’?“ And she replied, no, but the teachers don’t. Not to be deterred, I waited until all the kids came out, and I very loudly wished them all a ”Merry Christmas!“ In reply, they all responded, ”Merry Christmas!“ This kind of thing is happening all over the US. This is not a situation that is unique to my little suburban district. If parents went to schools to inquire about these things, they would no doubt be shocked by the answers coming from the school administrators & teachers.
Source: In Mortal Danger, by Tom Tancredo, p. 39-40 , Jun 6, 2006

Our students are taught Christian fanatics are the problem

In classrooms I ask, “How many believe we live in the greatest country?” Four students raised their hands in one Denver classroom. Although that is the same percentage of positive responders I get in other schools, the comments were antagonistic & not typical. These students knew why they hated this country. To them, America was beset with racism, sexism, chauvinism, & just about every other ism that has a negative connotation. The real problems we faced were those perpetrated by religious, Christian fanatics. One student said the reason we have problems with aliens is we do not do enough to accommodate their values. When I asked what we should do if aliens came here with values that were antithetical to ours--like radical Islamists who want to set up a Caliphate--there was a collective sneer.

At the end, the teacher walked out with me. He pointed out that what I had witnessed was more a reflection of dinner table conversations than of public school pedagogy. But I have no doubt they are both.

Source: In Mortal Danger, by Tom Tancredo, p. 41 , Jun 6, 2006

Voted NO on additional $10.2B for federal education & HHS projects.

Veto override on the bill, the American Competitiveness Scholarship Act, the omnibus appropriations bill for the Departments of Departments of Education, Health & Human Services, and Labor. Original bill passed & was then vetoed by the President.

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 & 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.

Reference: American Competitiveness Scholarship Act; Bill Veto override on H.R. 3043 ; vote number 2007-1122 on Nov 15, 2007

Voted NO on allowing Courts to decide on "God" in Pledge of Allegiance.

Amendment to preserve the authority of the US Supreme Court to decide any question pertaining to the Pledge of Allegiance. The bill underlying this amendment would disallow any federal courts from hearing cases concerning the Pledge of Allegiance. This amendment would make an exception for the Supreme Court.

Proponents support voting YES because:

I believe that our Pledge of Allegiance with its use of the phrase "under God" is entirely consistent with our Nation's cultural and historic traditions. I also believe that the Court holding that use of this phrase is unconstitutional is wrong. But this court-stripping bill is not necessary. This legislation would bar a Federal court, including the Supreme Court, from reviewing any claim that challenges the recitation of the Pledge on first amendment grounds.

If we are a Nation of laws, we must be committed to allowing courts to decide what the law is. This bill is unnecessary and probably unconstitutional. It would contradict the principle of Marbury v. Madison, intrude on the principles of separation of powers, and degrade our independent Federal judiciary.

Opponents support voting NO because:

I was disappointed 4 years ago when two judges of the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that our Pledge, our statement of shared national values, was somehow unconstitutional. I do not take legislation that removes an issue from the jurisdiction of this court system lightly. This legislation is appropriate, however, because of the egregious conduct of the courts in dealing with the Pledge of Allegiance.

By striking "under God" from the Pledge, the Court has shown contempt for the Congress which approved the language, and, more importantly, shows a complete disregard for the millions of Americans who proudly recite the Pledge as a statement of our shared national values and aspirations. No one is required to recite the Pledge if they disagree with its message.

Reference: Watt amendment to Pledge Protection Act; Bill H R 2389 ; vote number 2006-384 on Jul 19, 2006

Voted NO on $84 million in grants for Black and Hispanic colleges.

This vote is on a substitute bill (which means an amendment which replaces the entire text of the original bill). Voting YES means support for the key differences from the original bill: lowering student loan interest rates; $59 million for a new Predominantly Black Serving Institution program; $25 million for a new graduate Hispanic Serving Institution program; provide for year- round Pell grants; and repeal the Single Lender rule. The substitute's proponents say:
  • The original bill has some critical shortcomings. First and foremost, this substitute will cut the new Pell Grant fixed interest rate in half from 6.8% to 3.4%, to reduce college costs to those students most in need.
  • It would also establish a new predominantly black-serving institutions programs to boost college participation rates for low-income black students, and a new graduate Hispanic-serving institution program.
  • As we saw from 1995 to 2000, the questions employers were asking was not your race, not your ethnicity, not your religion, they wanted to know if you had the skills and talents to do the job. Most often today, those skills and that talent requires a higher education. A college education is going to have to become as common as a high school education.
    Reference: Reverse the Raid on Student Aid Act; Bill HR 609 Amendment 772 ; vote number 2006-080 on Mar 30, 2006

    Voted YES on allowing school prayer during the War on Terror.

    Children's Prayers Resolution: Expressing the sense of Congress that schools should allow children time to pray for, or silently reflect upon, the country during the war against terrorism.
    Reference: Bill sponsored by Isakson, R-GA; Bill H.Con.Res.239 ; vote number 2001-445 on Nov 15, 2001

    Voted NO on requiring states to test students.

    No Child Left Behind Act of 2001: Vote to pass a bill that would authorize $22.8 billion in education funding, a 29 percent increase from fiscal 2001. The bill would require states to test students to track progress.
    Reference: Bill sponsored by Boehner R-OH; Bill HR 1 ; vote number 2001-145 on May 23, 2001

    Supports requiring schools to allow prayer.

    Tancredo co-sponsored a bill requiring schools to allow voluntary prayer:

    H.R.1, S.73:

    No DOE funds shall be available to any educational agency which prevents participation in constitutionally protected prayer in public schools by individuals on a voluntary basis. No educational agency shall require any person to participate in prayer or influence the form or content of any constitutionally protected prayer in such public schools.
    H.Con.Res.199 (Nov 19, 1999, Bonilla et. al.)
    Expressing the sense of the Congress that prayers and invocations at public school sporting events contribute to the moral foundation of our Nation and urging the Supreme Court to uphold their constitutionality.
    H.J.RES. 54
    Recognizing the authority of public schools to allow students to exercise their constitutional rights by establishing a period of time for silent prayer or meditation or reflection, encouraging the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, and refusing to discriminate against individuals or groups on account of their religious character or speech.
    Source: H.R.1 01-HR1 on Jan 31, 2001

    Rated 8% by the NEA, indicating anti-public education votes.

    Tancredo scores 8% by the NEA on public education issues

    The National Education Association has a long, proud history as the nation's leading organization committed to advancing the cause of public education. Founded in 1857 "to elevate the character and advance the interests of the profession of teaching and to promote the cause of popular education in the United States," the NEA has remained constant in its commitment to its original mission as evidenced by the current mission statement:

    To fulfill the promise of a democratic society, the National Education Association shall promote the cause of quality public education and advance the profession of education; expand the rights and further the interest of educational employees; and advocate human, civil, and economic rights for all.
    In pursuing its mission, the NEA has determined that it will focus the energy and resources of its 2.7 million members toward the "promotion of public confidence in public education." The ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.
    Source: NEA website 03n-NEA on Dec 31, 2003

    Supports a Constitutional Amendment for school prayer.

    Tancredo co-sponsored a resolution for a School Prayer Amendment:

    H.J.RES.52 (2001), H.J.RES.66 (1999), S.J.RES. 1, H.J.RES.12, H. J. RES. 108, & H. J. RES. 55:

    Nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to prohibit individual or group prayer in public schools or other public institutions. No person shall be required by the United States or by any State to participate in prayer . Neither the United States nor any State shall compose the words of any prayer to be said in public schools.
    H. J. RES. 78 (1997):
    To secure the people's right to acknowledge God according to the dictates of conscience: Neither the United States nor any State shall establish any official religion, but the people's right to pray and to recognize their religious beliefs, heritage, or traditions on public property, including schools, shall not be infringed. Neither the United States nor any State shall require any person to join in prayer or other religious activity, prescribe school prayers, discriminate against religion, or deny equal access to a benefit on account of religion.
    Source: H.J.Res.78 97-HJR78 on May 8, 1997

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