With guest, Louder Than a Bomb poet Nate Marshall

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The roll call on Obey's Amendment

"I didn’t come here to be Arne Duncan’s congressman. Who do people think put the money into these programs in the first place? I did ... Welcome to Washington and welcome to hard choices.”-- House Appropriations Committee Chair David Obey (D. Wisc.)

Rep. Obey's amendment, includes $10 billion in aid to state governments and shifts $500 million out of Arne Duncan's $5 billion Race To The Top pool and into putting thousands of laid-off teachers back into their classrooms. But despite Obama's veto threat, the amendment passed overwhelmingly. The vote showed how thin support is for Duncan's reform among House Dems. They voted in favor of Obey's amendment 236-15. The Republicans, on the other hand, voted 3-167. (Roll call vote here)

The bill, attached to a war-funding measure (ugh!) still has to pass in the Senate where Blue Dog Dems & Republicrats still hold sway. 

"The competition has a lot of critics, who argue that the championed reforms -- for example, increasing the number of charter schools and linking teacher pay to standardized test scores -- have no basis in research." (Valerie Strauss, Answer Sheet)

What Duncan still has going for him is desperate state governments worried about getting badly-needed federal dollars even though only a few of them have a shot at RTTT money. Duncan has them over a barrel if they don't play ball. We'll have to wait and see how this thing is reconciled.


  1. I think most governors would opt for a even share of $10 billion to spend on teachers in exchange for a slightly reduced chance of winning a slice of $3.5 billion that must be spent on "reform." Most governors went along with RttT when it was the only way to get some additional federal funds, but I doubt there was much enthusiasm about the onerous requirements for most of them. Now that Obey had dangled $10 billion in front of them, I'd think they be downright pissed if they don't get it.

  2. I never noticed Congressman Obey before, but now he's my favorite member of Congress. I hope the Senate does the right thing.

  3. Please we don't need any more Charter School fraud, it is costing our state in the millions. the California Charter Academy was closed down their total embezzlement tab was $25 million. Charter schools are great if they are managed correctly the problem is there is no accountability. Pubically funded yet privately managed. One chain of American charter schools is run by The Gulen Movement, Fethullah Gulen is described as the most dangerous Islamic Imman in the world. His followers manage a network of 100+ American Charter schools that are nestled under layers of numerous Gulen Institutes.
    Please do YOUR research. http://www.charterschoolwatchdog.com


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