He was also part of a group of Dems, led by Rep. Obey (D-WI), who opposed Arne Duncan's Race To The Top initiative. On Thursday morning, Grijalva, the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, was asked on the radio/TV/Internet news hour Democracy Now! whether it was his sense that Obama hopes to make education his welfare reform.
"That's my sense and also my concern, to be quite honest," said Grijalva, who narrowly won reelection in his Tucson-based district. "We had an opportunity to reauthorize elementary and secondary education. We didn't do that. Now we go back to a session in which the Republicans are going to control the Education and Labor Committee, of which I'm a member." (Huffington)Grijalva said that large parts of Education Secretary Arne Duncan's education efforts had already been rejected by Democrats.
"Arne Duncan's four prescriptions for fixing public schools, which were essentially to privatize, close them... we rejected them as a caucus on that committee," Grijalva said.But Huffington's Ryan Grim adds that Grijalva's opposition could galvanize Obama if he decides that voters were telling him to oppose his base and work with Republicans to go after teachers unions, the element of organized labor that it is now acceptable for liberals to dismiss. Grijalva, though, said that progressives would organize around a defense of public education.