Our guest bloggers are Theodora Chang, an Education Policy Analyst at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, and Devin McMahon, an intern with the education policy team at CAPAF.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visited Minnesota last week to meet with students and discuss the likelihood of reforming the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the nation’s main education law:
“I just want a sense of urgency,” Duncan told reporters in St. Paul. “We’ve got children out here, we’ve got teachers out here. We’ve got parents and principals who need change now.”
|Chamber||Committee||Key Stats: Republicans||Key Stats: Democrats|
|House||Education and Workforce||23 Committee members.
Total of 9 bills introduced.
19 members have not introduced any education-related legislation.
|17 Committee members.
Total of 23 bills introduced.
3 members have not introduced any education-related legislation.
|Senate||Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions||10 Senators.
Total of 1 bill introduced.
Total of 28 bills introduced.
The bills introduced by Democrats address key priorities such as teacher and principal quality, early childhood education, expanded learning time, special education, turnaround schools, and wraparound services. The bills introduced by Republicans address issues such as recycling leftover school cafeteria food, and cutting education programs.
Even without discussing the merits of the bills they have put forth, it’s clear that Republicans are way behind the ball when it comes to spurring action on education reform. House Education and Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) recently justified eliminating 43 programs by saying that they were “just too complicated” and “difficult” to deal with. Let’s hope that’s not the same stance that lawmakers take with the rest of the law.