Intense last minute efforts by education groups and, we hope, individual constituents to halt passage of the Dollars to the Classroom Act failed.
Last Friday, September 18, after three hours of debate, the House passed HR 3248 by a vote of 212 to 198 (breakdown of votes below). The bill, originally introduced by Representative Joe Pitts (R-PA), seeks to consolidate 31 separate federal education programs, including the Eisenhower Professional Development Program, into a single block grant to the states.
For science teachers, this would spell the end of the Eisenhower program. While states could choose to spend money on professional development, they would not be required to do so. In the face of diverse and competing needs, targeted funding for professional development for science and math teachers could very likely get lost in a political tug-of-war.
The Senate version of the bill, S 1589, introduced by Senator Tim Hutchinson (R-AR), has not yet been voted on by the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources and, therefore, the bill is not yet scheduled for floor debate. President Clinton has signaled he would veto this bill.
What This Vote Means:
Passage of this block grant bill by the House confirms that the threat to federal education programs, like Eisenhower, is very real. Next year, when Congress reauthorizes the K-12 federal education programs in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), debate over permanent block grants---and thus the elimination of targeted federal programs---is certain to take front-and-center stage in a Republican-led Congress.
Votes on the Dollars to the Classroom/Pitts bill fell largely along party lines. Breaking ranks were five Democrats who voted for the bill and 11 Republicans who voted against it. According to Education Daily (9/21/98), "GOP's leaders used Friday's debate as another chance to rally their soldiers and portray the federal involvement in education as bureaucratic and wasteful."
As mentioned in the last update, Congress is scheduled to adjourn October 9 so that members can return home and campaign for the November election. The entire House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate are up for re-election.
Here is the breakdown of the House votes on the Dollars to the Classroom/Pitts bill:
The following representatives voted FOR the Pitts bill. (Democrats are designated in capital letters.)
Aderholt Gekas Packard Archer Gibbons Pappas Armey Gilchrest Paxon Bachus Gillmor Peterson (PA) Baker Gingrich Petri Ballenger GOODE Pickering Barr Goodlatte Pitts Barrett (NE) Goodling Pombo Bartlett Graham Porter Barton Granger Portman Bass Greenwood Radanovich Bateman Gutknecht Redmond Bereuter HALL (TX) Regula Bilirakis Hansen Riley Bliley Hastert Rogan Blunt Hastings (WA) Rogers Boehner Hayworth Rohrabacher Bonilla Hefley Ros-Lehtinen Bono Herger Roukema Brady (TX) Hill Royce Bryant Hilleary Ryun Bunning Hobson Salmon Burr Hoekstra Sanford Buyer Horn Saxton Callahan Hostettler Scarborough Calvert Houghton Schaefer, Dan Camp Hulshof Schaffer, Bob Campbell Hunter Sensenbrenner Canady Hutchinson Sessions Cannon Hyde Shadegg Castle Inglis Shaw Chabot Istook Shays Chambliss Jenkins Shimkus Chenoweth Johnson, Sam Shuster Christensen Jones Skeen Coble Kasich Smith (MI) Coburn Kim Smith (NJ) Collins King (NY) Smith (OR) Combest Kingston Smith (TX) Cook Klug SMITH, ADAM Cooksey Knollenberg Smith, Linda Cox Kolbe Snowbarger Crane LaHood Solomon Crapo Largent Souder Cubin Latham Spence Cunningham LaTourette Stearns Davis (VA) Lazio Stump Deal Lewis (CA) Sununu DeLay Lewis (KY) Talent Diaz-Balart Linder Tauzin Dickey Livingston TAYLOR (MS) Doolittle LoBiondo Taylor (NC) Dreier Lucas Thomas Duncan Manzullo Thornberry Dunn McCollum Thune Ehlers McCrery Tiahrt Ehrlich McHugh Upton Emerson McInnis Walsh English McIntosh Wamp Ensign MCINTYRE Watkins Everett McKeon Watts (OK) Ewing Metcalf Weldon (FL) Foley Miller (FL) Weldon (PA) Forbes Moran (KS) Weller Fossella Myrick White Fowler Nethercutt Whitfield Fox Neumann Wicker Franks (NJ) Northup Wilson Frelinghuysen Norwood Wolf Gallegly Nussle Young (FL) Ganske Oxley
The following representatives voted AGAINST the Pitts bill. (Democrats are designated in capital letters.)
ABERCROMBIE GREEN NEAL ACKERMAN GUTIERREZ Ney ALLEN HALL (OH) OBERSTAR ANDREWS HAMILTON OBEY BAESLER HARMAN OLVER BALDACCI HASTINGS (FL) ORTIZ BARCIA HEFNER OWENS BARRETT (WI) HILLIARD PALLONE BECERRA HINCHEY PASCRELL BENTSEN HINOJOSA PASTOR BERMAN HOLDEN PAYNE BERRY HOOLEY PELOSI Bilbray HOYER PETERSON (MN) BISHOP JACKSON (IL) PICKETT BLUMENAUER JACKSON-LEE (TX) POMEROY Boehlert JEFFERSON PRICE (NC) BONIOR JOHN Quinn BORSKI Johnson (CT) RAHALL BOSWELL JOHNSON (WI) Ramstad BOUCHER JOHNSON, E. B. RANGEL BOYD KANJORSKI REYES BRADY (PA) Kelly RIVERS BROWN (FL) KENNEDY (MA) RODRIGUEZ BROWN (OH) KENNEDY (RI) ROEMER CAPPS KILDEE ROTHMAN CARDIN KILPATRICK ROYBAL-ALLARD CARSON KIND (WI) RUSH CLAYTON KLECZKA SABO CLEMENT KLINK SANDERS CLYBURN KUCINICH SANDLIN CONDIT LAFALCE SAWYER CONYERS LAMPSON SCOTT COSTELLO LANTOS SERRANO COYNE Leach SHERMAN CRAMER LEE SISISKY CUMMINGS LEVIN SKAGGS DANNER LEWIS (GA) SKELTON DAVIS (FL) LIPINSKI SLAUGHTER DAVIS (IL) LOFGREN SNYDER DEGETTE LOWEY SPRATT DELAHUNT LUTHER STABENOW DELAURO MALONEY (CT) STARK DEUTSCH MALONEY (NY) STENHOLM DICKS MARKEY STRICKLAND DINGELL MARTINEZ STUPAK DIXON MASCARA TANNER DOGGETT MATSUI TAUSCHER DOOLEY MCCARTHY (MO) THOMPSON DOYLE MCCARTHY (NY) THURMAN EDWARDS MCDERMOTT TIERNEY ENGEL MCGOVERN TOWNS ESHOO MCHALE TRAFICANT ETHERIDGE MCKINNEY TURNER EVANS MCNULTY VELAZQUEZ FARR MEEHAN VENTO FATTAH MEEKS (NY) VISCLOSKY FAZIO MENENDEZ WATERS FILNER MILLENDER-MCDONALD WATT (NC) FORD MINGE WAXMAN FRANK (MA) MINK WEXLER FROST MOAKLEY WEYGAND FURSE MOLLOHAN WISE GEJDENSON MORAN (VA) WOOLSEY GEPHARDT Morella WYNN Gilman MURTHA YATES GORDON NADLER Young (AK)
The following representative voted PRESENT: Paul
The following 24 representatives did not vote. Again, Democrats are designated in capital letters.
******************************************************* Jerry P. Becker Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction Southern Illinois University Carbondale, IL 62901-4610 USA Fax: (618)453-4244 Phone: (618)453-4241 (office) E-mail: JBECKER@SIU.EDU