George W. Bush has famously reflected on his presidency “ultimately history will be the judge.”
John Kline (Conservative-MN-02) has been in the House for a long time … long enough that his history is apparent.
John Kline is the current Chair of the House Education and the Workforce Committee and as such controls the gavel over what legislation is considered … or not permitted a vote.
For decades, supporting education is one issue that the parties would work together, resolve differences and earn “good grades” from parents, teachers and outside groups.
Sure, there were differences … and some earned an “F” and others earned an “A”.
For example, Jim Ramstad (R-MN-03) earned an “A” rating while John Kline earned an “F” in 2005 … who was the outlier ? Well, in 2005, there were 143 Congressional Republicans who earned passing NEA grades … and that number dwindled such that in 2011, only 57 Congressional Republicans earned passing NEA grades.
The 2013 scorecard rates only Christopher Gibson (R-NY-19), Michel Grimm (R-NY-11) and Richard Hanna (R-NY-22) as earning an “A”.
That’s right just THREE.
“Unfortunately, these ratings confirm that Congress is increasingly divided. But when it comes to education, we all have a responsibility to help our students succeed—especially our elected leaders,” said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel.
“We have to work together to ensure adequate and equal funding for all public schools so that all students have the opportunity to succeed,” said Mr. Van Roekel. “These men and women are elected to represent our best interests. They hold much of the future of our students and our families in their hands.”
“Education is the single most important investment we can make,” Representative Hanna said. “In a highly competitive global economy it is only through education that we will rebuild our middle class and improve our quality of life. I will continue working to ensure every child in upstate New York has access to a quality education and an opportunity to reach his or her full potential.”
Represenative Hanna proves that Education should not be a partisan issue.
However, Chairman Kline’s gavel has brought forward legislation such as the Student Success Act which even the Chamber of Commerce urged a NO vote on the Student Success Act (H.R. 5).
Not surprisingly, Chairman Kline did not issue a press release announcing his “F” rating, meanwhile, Mike Obermueller did issue a press release after earning a relevant endorsement.
“I’m excited to have the endorsement of the American Federation of Teachers,” said Obermueller. “It’s an honor to gain the support of an organization that represents over a million teachers across the country.
“Kline has shown time and time again that he’s not on the side of teachers or their students. As Chair of the Education and Workforce Committee, he has been in a position to help teachers provide a better education to our young people, but he has refused to act.
“Kline has voted to prioritize subsidies to big oil companies over funding for our education system, voted against a $10 billion increase in funding to recruit and retain top quality teachers, and voted against additional funding to repair and renovate crumbling school buildings. Simply put, he has held up progress in our schools, not encouraged it.”
When elected, Obermueller will continue to be a strong supporter of children getting the education they deserve. “We need to be doing everything we can to make sure our kids are getting the best education possible,” said Obermueller. “That means supporting our teachers in the classroom, making sure our young people are in safe learning environments, and prioritizing education above special interests.”
The question for voters this November, do you want someone advancing legislation that even the Chamber of Commerce rejects, or do you want someone who will work across the aisle ?