Friday, May 9, 2014

Today's Congressional Bipartisan Charter School Lovefest

Today, the House passed H.R. 10, the "Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act," which consolidates the two existing federal charter school programs into one to award grants to state entities and authorizes the secretary of Education to maintain a federal grant competition for charter schools that did not win state grants. Overall, it increases federal funding of charter schools from $250 million to $300 million.

Teachers' unions expressed concern with the lack of charter oversight and transparency in the bill:
"The Miller-Kline bill includes improvements over current law, but it doesn’t go far enough in requiring the oversight and transparency that is owed to the students who attend charter schools and to the taxpayers who financially support them," AFT President Randi Weingarten said.
The National Education Association (NEA), the largest professional employee organization in the U.S., expressed reservations as well.
"While we are encouraged the bill includes improvements in some areas over current law, it ultimately falls well short of long-overdue parent, student, educator, community and taxpayer safeguards needed in the now 23-year old charter sector," Mary Kusler, the NEA's director of government relations, wrote in a letter to House offices last month.
The bill passed 360 to 45. Only 34 Democrats and 11 Republicans opposed it. 
Here are the 34 Democrats:

Timothy Bishop (NY-01)
Mike Capuano (MA-07)
Kathy Castor (FL-14)
Judy Chu (CA-32)
Katherine Clarke (MA-05)
Yvette Clarke (NY-09)
Lacy Clay (MO-01)
Emanuel Cleaver (MO-05)
Danny Davis (IL-07)
Ted Deutch (FL-21)
Donna Edwards (MD-04)
Lois Frankel (FL-22)
Marcia Fudge (OH-11)
Alan Grayson (FL-09)
Raul Grijalva (AZ-03)
Hank Johnson (GA-04)
Robin Kelly (IL-02)
Dan Kildee (MI-5)
John Lewis (GA-05)
Jim McDermott (WA-07)
Gwen Moore (WI-04)
Patrick Murphy (FL-18)
Chellie Pingree (ME-01)
Cedric Richmond (LA-02)
Jan Schakowsky (IL-09)
Terri Sewell (AL-07)
Albio Sires (NJ-08)
Bennie Thompson (MS-02)
John Tierney (MA-06)
Paul Tonko (NY-20)
Nydia Velázquez (NY-07)
Pete Visclosky (IN-01)
Tim Walz (MN-01)

Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23)

Here are the 11 Republicans:

Justin Amash (MI-03)
Rob Bishop (UT-01)
Mo Brooks (AL-05)
Paul Broun (GA-10)
Scott Garrett (GA-05)
Morgan Griffith (VA-09)
Walter Jones (NC-03)
Cynthia Lummis (WY-AL)
Tom Massie (KY-04)
Steve Stockman (TX-36)

Kathy Castor (FL-14) offered an amendment that would require the secretary of Education to develop conflict of interest guidelines for all charter schools receiving federal funds.  Such guidelines would have to include disclosures from anyone affiliated with the charter school that has a financial interest in the school. The amendment failed 190 to 205.

178 Democrats and 12 Republicans voted for it. 201 Republicans and 4 Democrats voted against it.
The four Democrats were Steve Cohen (TN-09), Jim Cooper (TN-05), George Miller (CA-11), and Bill Owens (NY-21).

The 12 Republicans were the following:

Rodney Davis (IL-13)
Charlie Dent (PA-15)
Jim Gerlach (PA-06)
Chris Gibson (NY-19)
Richard Hanna (NY-22)
Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02)
David McKinley (WV-01)
Scott Perry (PA-04)
Joseph Pitts (PA-16)
David Reichert (WA-08)
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27)
Aaron Schock (IL-18)

Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18) offered an amendment to direct the website publication of materials on the websites of Charter Schools regarding student recruitment, orientation materials, enrollment criteria, student discipline policies, behavior codes, and parent contract requirements, which should include any financial obligations such as fees for tutoring, extra-circular activity, etc.

It failed 179 to 220. 175 Democrats and 4 Republicans voted for it. 207 Republicans and 13 Democrats voted against it.

The four Republicans were Chris Gibson (NY-19), Richard Hanna (NY-22), Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02), and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27).

The 13 Democrats were the following:

John Carney (DE-AL)
Jim Cooper (TN-05)
John Delaney (MD-06)
Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02)
Jared Huffman (CA-02)
Zoe Lofgren (CA-19)
Stephen Lynch (MA-08)
Dan Maffei (NY-24)
George Miller (CA-11)
Bill Owens (NY-21)
Scott Peters (CA-52)
Jared Polis (CO-02)
Kurt Schrader (OR-05)

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