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7/24/2013 6:00:00 AM
Bill aims at Department of Education, targets money for states
U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Prescott
U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Prescott
Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - A new education bill before the U.S. Senate would eliminate 70 programs from the U.S. Department of Education, gut some of the authority given to the department through the No Child Left Behind Act and push the responsibility for education down to the states.

In a news release, U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, R- Prescott, said he voted in favor of the Student Success Act, H.R. 5, Friday. The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 221 to 207 and moves on to the U.S. Senate.

"Caring about our students and their futures requires that we beat back the federal government's takeover of our education system. The boondoggle known as No Child Left Behind proved disastrous for parents, teachers, school administrators, and most importantly, students," Gosar said. "I have more confidence in parents, teachers and local school districts to make decisions than I do Washington bureaucrats."

Arizona Rep. Doris Goodale, R - Kingman, said she hasn't seen the bill, but was not surprised at the attempt to push control of education back to the states.

"Many Republicans in Congress want to do away with the federal Department of Education," she said. "I'm all for that, but is each state ready to take this on? Who's going to control the money - the governor? The Legislature? A separate department? How do we make sure that money is being spent properly? Who takes on that responsibility?"

The bill could actually create more bureaucracy at the state level than it might eliminate at the federal level, because states might have to create a new department or hire additional employees to handle the added responsibilities, Goodale said.

"I think we should get the federal government out of education. I don't want the federal government dictating education standards," she said. "I like the idea of the states getting the money, but we need time to prepare."

According to House Republican Conference's website, the bill would:

• Eliminate more than 70 programs and their employees from the Department of Education.

• Create a grant program with the money saved from the elimination of the federal programs. The grant money would be given to states and local school districts to spend as they please with the requirement that at least 10 percent of it be used to support private initiatives to improve student achievement.

• Allow school districts and states to set their own funding levels.

• Move all money for migrant education, delinquent students, English Language Acquisition programs, rural education and Indian Education into the Title 1 fund for low-income students.

• Allow states to come up with their own ways to measure improvements in schools and teachers.

• Reauthorizes a program to support charter schools and provide parents with information on charter schools.

• Prohibits the U.S. Secretary of Education from imposing conditions on states including those involving the Common Core standards. Common Core is an educational program that was created by several states and business leaders. Proponents of the program say it will give students the skills to compete in today's work place. Opponents of Common Core say it is an attempt by the federal government to impose a national education standard.

• Prohibits the U.S. Secretary of Education from "creating additional burdens on states and school districts through the regulatory process."

• Prohibits the secretary from "demanding changes to state standards and coercing states to enter into partnerships with other states."

• Outlines a set of procedures the secretary must follow before issuing federal regulations.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, implementing the bill would cost the federal government $114.3 billion between 2014 and 2018.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, July 28, 2013
Article comment by: Amaryllis Smith

Representative Paul Gosar,
Thank you for your stance on this issue. Common Core would end up a federally mandated national curriculum and we would be seeing qaurans on all the desk in schools across the nation. Black caucus members in D.C. have already stood up and declared that what is wrong with our school systems is they need the qaurans in all classrooms thereby teaching Muslim Islam Sharia to All kids nation wide as that is the agenda, OB's declaration in 2008 to Fundamentally and Culturally change OUR nation!

Posted: Thursday, July 25, 2013
Article comment by: Republican Proudly Hold that 10% as Proof of Their Work

Yea, and that 10% seems to always be when Republicans are in charge. Examples:
* House of Representatives - Republican control
* Bush's FEMA - disastrous
* Bush's Iraq war and aftermath - criminal and poorly executed
* State of Arizona - since being under complete Republican control becoming "Mississippi of the West"

Posted: Thursday, July 25, 2013
Article comment by: Oh Ya

"but they can basically do what they want to with the funds"

This is no different from what they did before! For several years they redirected funds meant for the schools. I think I see a smoke screen coming.

Posted: Thursday, July 25, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“Just about 90% of things federal government does is disastrous.”

As Frankie likes to say, “And of course you can links and proof.” Please provide, thank you.

Posted: Thursday, July 25, 2013
Article comment by: Origional Kingman Resident

Education should be, and until fairly recently always was, a local responsibility.
Since the Feds have involved themselves in education the standing of the US has continuously dropped in comparison to other industrialized nations.

To Concerned Citizen:

The bill only specifies that a minimum of 10% be allocated to private initiatives. States can opt to allocate more. There are several states already who want to advance more charter schools and more options for families to choose a program that meets the needs of their children.

Teacher unions do not want any private initiatives at all, which is why they are opposed to returning education to the states. The unions have a tremendous influence on the US Dept of Ed. Their concerns lay with what is most profitable for the union, not what is best for student achievement. Keeping the Fed in charge of education will never result in what is best for students.

State legislatures can design education funding laws so that they maintain long term consistency.

Posted: Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Article comment by: N A

Just about 90% of things federal government does is disastrous. Let the states be, competition between states is healthy.

Posted: Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Article comment by: Keep Hope Alive

Glad to see that Republicans can admit to a bad law. Really happy to keep Common Core and the social engineering Federal Government out of Arizona. Keep up the good work Paul Gosar.

Posted: Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Article comment by: concerned citizen

Let's see if I have this right.... The Republicans and Rep Gosar want to gut the No Child Left Behind program. Who created that particular program and voted it into existence? That's right! George Bush and the Republican Party!

They want to give the states all this money and only require 10% "to support private initiatives to improve student achievement!"

The states will have to find a way to dispense this money, but they can basically do what they want to with the funds. We will have 50 different methods of funding, which will change every time a new Governor and legislature comes into power. What a mess!

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