Tom Carper on Education
Democratic Sr Senator (DE)
Introduce market forces into our schools
In the US Senate, I have worked tirelessly to preserve Dover Air Force Base; to save the Delaware National Guard, to replenish our DE beaches. In the US Senate what
I’ve done is to build bipartisan coalitions, not only to address global warming, but to clean up our air. I’ve built bipartisan coalitions to better educate our children and introduce market forces into our schools.
Source: Delaware 2006 Senate Debate, hosted by WHYY-TV
, Oct 20, 2006
Opposes parents choosing schools via vouchers
Invest in our future by improving public education; expanding health care for our children and families; extending prescription drug benefits to our seniors and increasing access to child care.
Source: Press Release, “Criticizes ‘Splurging Away’ Surplus”, Aug. 2
, Sep 19, 2000
Focus on discipline in schools
School reforms won’t be effective in classrooms that are too disruptive for teachers to teach and students to learn. To help create disciplined classroom environments, we’ve initiated disruption prevention programs in every Delaware public school.
We’ve created alternative learning centers for chronically disruptive students in each of our counties. It hasn’t been enough. This year, I will propose to increase by 50% what we currently spend on discipline, to expand the program statewide.
Source: 1999 Delaware State of the State Speech
, Jan 21, 1999
Public school choice OK
“We are the first state to put into place a comprehensive system of standards, accountability, local control, and public school choice. We are the first state to wire every classroom to the Internet, and the first to assess every school and post the
results on the Internet,” Carper said. “If the voters of Delaware send me to represent them in Washington, I will provide our schools with local control and flexibility in exchange for accountability for results.
Source: Press Release, “Vision on Education”
, Aug 9, 2000
Voted YES on additional $10.2B for federal education & HHS projects.
Vote on the passage of the bill, the American Competitiveness Scholarship Act, the omnibus appropriations bill for the Departments of Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Labor. Pres. Bush then vetoed the Bill.
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 and 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 H.R. 3043
; vote number 2007-391
on Oct 23, 2007
Voted YES on $52M for "21st century community learning centers".
To increase appropriations for after-school programs through 21st century community learning centers. Voting YES would increase funding by $51.9 million for after school programs run by the 21st century community learning centers and would decrease funding by $51.9 million for salaries and expenses in the Department of Labor.
Reference: Amendment to Agencies Appropriations Act;
Bill S Amdt 2287 to HR 3010
; vote number 2005-279
on Oct 27, 2005
Voted YES on $5B for grants to local educational agencies.
To provide an additional $5 billion for title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. Voting YES would provide:
Reference: Elementary and Secondary Education Amendment;
Bill S Amdt 2275 to HR 3010
; vote number 2005-269
on Oct 26, 2005
- $2.5 billion for targeting grants to local educational agencies
- $2.5 billion for education finance incentive grants
Voted YES on shifting $11B from corporate tax loopholes to education.
Vote to adopt an amendment to the Senate's 2006 Fiscal Year Budget Resolution that would adjust education funding while still reducing the deficit by $5.4 billion. A YES vote would:
Reference: Kennedy amendment relative to education funding;
Bill S AMDT 177 to S Con Res 18
; vote number 2005-68
on Mar 17, 2005
- Restore education program cuts slated for vocational education, adult education, GEAR UP, and TRIO.
- Increase the maximum Pell Grant scholarship to $4,500 immediately.
- Increases future math and science teacher student loan forgiveness to $23,000.
- Pay for the education funding by closing $10.8 billion in corporate tax loopholes.
Voted YES on funding smaller classes instead of private tutors.
Vote to authorize a federal program aimed at reducing class size. The plan would assist states and local education agencies in recruiting, hiring and training 100,000 new teachers, with $2.4 billion in fiscal 2002. This amendment would replace an amendment allowing parents with children at under-performing schools to use public funding for private tutors.
; vote number 2001-103
on May 15, 2001
Voted YES on funding student testing instead of private tutors.
Vote to pass an amendment that would authorize $200 million to provide grants to help states develop assessment systems that describe student achievement. This amendment would replace an amendment by Jeffords, R-VT, which would allow parents with children at under-performing schools to use public funding for private tutors.
; vote number 2001-99
on May 10, 2001
Voted YES on spending $448B of tax cut on education & debt reduction.
Vote to reduce the size of the $1.6 trillion tax cut by $448 billion while increasing education spending by $250 billion and providing an increase of approximately $224 billion for debt reduction over 10 years.
Bill H Con Res 83
; vote number 2001-69
on Apr 4, 2001
Offer every parent Charter Schools and public school choice.
Carper adopted the manifesto, "A New Agenda for the New Decade":
Create World-Class Public Schools
Now more than ever, quality public education is the key to equal opportunity and upward mobility in America. Yet our neediest children often attend the worst schools. While lifting the performance of all schools, we must place special emphasis on strengthening those institutions serving, and too often failing, low-income students.
To close this achievement and opportunity gap, underperforming public schools need more resources, and above all, real accountability for results. Accountability means ending social promotion, measuring student performance with standards-based assessments, and testing teachers for subject-matter competency.
As we demand accountability, we should ensure that every school has the resources needed to achieve higher standards, including safe and modern physical facilities, well-paid teachers and staff, and opportunities for remedial help after school and during summers.
Parents, too, must accept greater responsibility for supporting their children’s education.
We need greater choice, competition, and accountability within the public school system, not a diversion of public funds to private schools that are unaccountable to taxpayers. With research increasingly showing the critical nature of learning in the early years, we should move toward universal access to pre-kindergarten education.
Goals for 2010
Source: The Hyde Park Declaration 00-DLC2 on Aug 1, 2000
- Turn around every failing public school.
- Make charter schools an option in every state and community.
- Offer every parent a choice of public schools to which to send his or her child.
- Make sure every classroom has well-qualified teachers who know the subjects they teach, and pay teachers more for performance.
- Create a safe, clean, healthy, disciplined learning environment for every student.
- Make pre-kindergarten education universally available.
Three R’s: $35B for Reinvestment,Reinvention,Responsibility.
Carper co-sponsored the Senate New Democrat Coalition Press Release:
The Public Education Reinvestment, Reinvention and Responsibility Act (Three R's) [is] the common ground from which bipartisan compromise on education reform will be successfully achieved. The Three R’s would provide public schools with significantly increased funding and flexibility, increasing federal investment in education by $35 billion over the next 5 years, and targeting most of those new dollars toward closing the persistent achievement gap between poor and more affluent students. State & local officials would be given broader latitude to decide how to allocate federal funding in order to meet the specific needs of their communities. In return, states would be required to set standards for raising academic achievement, and improve the quality of their teachers.
The “Three R’s” bill is based on the policy recommendations by the Progressive Policy Institute:
Source: Senate New Democrat Coalition Press Release 01-SNDC5 on Jan 23, 2001
- Streamline our national education priorities into five goal-oriented titles, focused on:
- closing the
achievement gap between poor and more affluent children;
- helping to improve teacher quality;
- helping immigrant students master English and meet high standards in all subjects;
- promoting public school choice; and
- stimulating innovative local initiatives
- Create a tough new accountability system that pegs program funding to academic performance standards set by the states, and require “report cards” so that parents know how their school is performing;
- Reward states that exceed their standards with more flexibility and bonus funding, and for the first time ever, sanction those states that chronically fail to show improvements, by cutting administrative funds;
- Increase funding for disadvantaged students by 50%;
- Increase funding for teacher and principal professional development by more than 100%;
- Increase funding for immigrant students by $1 billion annually to improve English proficiency;
- Continue to reduce class size in the early grades.
Rated 82% by the NEA, indicating pro-public education votes.
Carper scores 82% 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
Support the goals and ideals of Charter Schools.
Carper co-sponsored supporting the goals and ideals of Charter Schools
A resolution supporting the goals and ideals of National Charter Schools Week, April 30, 2007, through May 4, 2007. Legislative Outcome: Related bills: H.RES.344, H.RES.1168, S.RES.556; agreed to in Senate, by Unanimous Consent.
Source: S.RES.183 07-SR556 on May 1, 2007
- Whereas charter schools deliver high-quality education and challenge students to reach their potential;
- Whereas charter schools provide thousands of families with diverse and innovative educational options for their children;
- Whereas charter schools are public schools authorized by designated public entities to respond to the needs of communities, families, and students, and to promote the principles of quality, choice, and innovation;
- Whereas, in exchange for the flexibility and autonomy given to charter schools, charter schools are held accountable by their sponsors for improving student achievement and for their finances and other operations;
- Whereas 40 States and the District of Columbia have passed laws authorizing charter schools;
- Whereas more than 4,000 charter schools operating across the
United States serve more than 1,140,000 students;
- Whereas, over the last 13 years, Congress has provided more than $2,026,225,000 in support to the charter school movement;
- Whereas the eighth annual National Charter Schools Week, to be held April 30 through May 4, 2007, is an event sponsored by charter schools and grassroots charter school organizations across the United States to recognize the significant impacts, achievements, and innovations of charter schools:
- Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the Senate acknowledges and commends charter schools and students, parents, teachers, and administrators of charter schools across the United States for their ongoing contributions to education and improving and strengthening the public school system; and supports the goals and ideals of the eighth annual National Charter Schools Week.
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