Before President Obama addressed a joint session of Congress pleading for The American Jobs Act, John Kline (R-MN-02) was quickly trying to get a final vote on HR 2218 : Empowering Parents Through Quality Charter Schools Act.
Mr. Kline’s accomplishment’s thus far as Chairman of the Education and Workforce Committee have been few … appropriations for the fiscal year that will start October 1st is not complete, nor is the re-authorization of No Child Left Behind … but the one success that he can claim is the passage of John Boehner’s (R-OH-07) baby HR 471 to fund Washington DC charter schools.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, HR 2218 will take the current funding level of $256 million in FY2011 to $300 million starting in FY2012 ….
Gosh, while Future Presidentress Michele Bachmann (R-MN-06) told The American Principles Project at the “Palmetto Freedom Forum,” that she would look to get rid of the Department of Education : “Because the Constitution does not specifically enumerate nor does it give to the federal government the role and duty to superintend over education that historically has been held by the parents and by local communities and by state governments“.
It should be noted that Potential Presidentress Bachmann other parents started the K-12 New Heights Charter School in 1993.
Oh my, isn’t it amazing that one segment of the Republican Party is advocating elimination of the role of the Federal Government in Education while Mr. Kline is increasing taxpayer investment into charter schools ? ? ?
Yet, one of the big questions is : Will the $300 million in annual spending for constructing and retrofitting charter schools produce JOBS for Americans ?
Well, the answer for that is not known, but what is known is that the Republicans do not want to require the purchase of American-made equipment and services.
John Garamendi (D-CA-10) offered an amendment that would have amended Section 6 of the bill to give the Secretary of Education the authority to prioritize financing to eligible entities that use American-made materials for construction and renovation.
Note : Prioritize not require.
Congressman Garamendi said “This is the American taxpayers’ money. Let’s use it to improve education AND create jobs for our fellow Americans.”
During floor discussion, there was deafening silence when Republican Members of Congress were asked to explain why the amendment was not allowed an up or down vote. The most powerful woman in the House, Mr. Kline’s Roadblocker, Virginia Foxx (R-NC-05) just stood there saying NO.
No to Congressman Garamendi.
No to American Workers
But YES to increase in taxpayer monies for Charter Schools.
Yet, a few hours the most vocal response during President Obama speech was when he stated “three proud words: ‘Made in America.’ ”
Why don’t the Republicans want to make us proud and employed ?
Note : President Obama’s proposal includes two key components directed at Education spending :
Preventing Layoffs of Teachers, Cops and Firefighters:
The President is proposing to invest $35 billion to prevent layoffs of up to 280,000 teachers, while supporting the hiring of tens of thousands more and keeping cops and firefighters on the job. These funds would help states and localities avoid and reverse layoffs now, requiring that funds be drawn down quickly. Under the President’s proposal, $30 billion be directed towards educators and $5 billion would support the hiring and retention of public safety and first responder personnel.
Modernizing Over 35,000 Schools – From Science Labs and Internet-Ready Classrooms to Renovated Facilities: The President is proposing a $25 billion investment in school infrastructure that will modernize at least 35,000 public schools – investments that will create jobs, while improving classrooms and upgrading our schools to meet 21st century needs. This includes a priority for rural schools and dedicated funding for Bureau of Indian Education funded schools. Funds could be used for a range of emergency repair and renovation projects, greening and energy efficiency upgrades, asbestos abatement and removal, and modernization efforts to build new science and computer labs and to upgrade technology in our schools. The President is also proposing a $5 billion investment in modernizing community colleges (including tribal colleges), bolstering their infrastructure in this time of need while ensuring their ability to serve future generations of students and communities.