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House Roll Call: 217     Vote Date: May 9th, 2014

Issue: H.R. 10 Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act. Sponsor: Rep. John Kline (MN-2).

Result: Passed in House, 360 to 45, 27 not voting.   GOP and Democrats scored.

From the Congressional Research Service Summary:

(Sec. 4) Revises subpart 1 (Charter School Program) of part B (Public Charter Schools) of title V (Promoting Informed Parental Choice and Innovative Programs) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.

(Sec. 5) Replaces the current charter school grant program with a program awarding grants to state entities (state educational agencies, state charter school boards, Governors, or charter school support organizations) and, through them, subgrants to charter school developers to open new charter schools and expand and replicate high-quality charter schools….

Limits subgrantees to no more than one subgrant per charter school over a five-year period, unless the subgrantee demonstrates at least three years of improved educational results for students enrolled in the applicable charter school.

Requires the Secretary of Education and each grantee to use a peer review process to review applications for charter school grants and subgrants….

(Sec. 8) Requires states and LEAs to ensure that a student’s records are transferred as quickly as possible to a charter school or another public school when the student transfers from one such school to the other.

(Sec. 9) Allows charter schools to serve prekindergarten or postsecondary school students.

(Sec. 10) Reauthorizes appropriations under subpart 1 through FY2020.

Analysis: The federal government has no constitutional authority for involvement with education or for a Department of Education. The Insider-foundation supported drive to control the education of our youth overcame that obstacle following Sputnik.

Federal control predictably followed federal funding and a further decline in public education ensued. The educational establishment has capitalized on that decline to promote its own remedies, such as Charter Schools, that merely continue dangerous federal control.

The efforts of the federal educational establishment to manage public education through Charter Schools can be seen in several of the provisions cited above.

In his April 25, 2014 open memo House Republicans, Majority Leader Eric Cantor detailed the GOP Spring Legislative Agenda and touted the benefits of H.R. 10:

“This bipartisan bill will modernize our current charter school programs by consolidating two federal programs into one. Through conservative reforms, we will reward high-performing charter schools at the state and local level and permit states more flexibility to allocate federal funds to start charter schools. Under this legislation, states also will have the ability to expand and replicate high-performing charter schools.” [Emphasis added.]

         The concept that the federal government should have any role in funding or authorizing states to start charter schools violates the separation of state and federal powers recognized in the Constitution.

Moreover, the suggestion that a bipartisan coalition that includes arch-liberal George Miller (a cosponsor) and House minority leader, Nancy Pelosi (voted Aye), could agree on a measure to substantially improve education reveals the dishonesty of the House Republican leadership.

We have assigned (good vote) to the Noes and (bad vote) to the Ayes. (P = voted present; ? = not voting; blank = not listed on roll call.)