"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.