Education

Committee Shifts Likely As GOP Takes Control of Senate

By Ben Wear — November 06, 2002 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Republicans, who lost control of the Senate 17 months ago through one senator’s decision, regained command Tuesday the old-fashioned way: at the polls.

With just one of the 34 races hanging in the balance the day after the Nov. 5 midterm elections—in Louisiana, where matters will be decided in a Dec. 7 runoff—Republicans secured 51 seats in the 100-member upper chamber of Congress. In the House, meanwhile, where the GOP held a 14-seat working majority entering the election, the postelection makeup appears likely to be 228 Republicans, 206 Democrats, and one Independent, who typically votes with Democrats.

Elections 2002

The most immediate consequence for education will be in the Senate, where the GOP majority likely means that Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., will hand over the gavel for the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee to Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H. And Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, despite comfortably winning what had earlier appeared to be a strong challenge from Rep. Greg Ganske, R-Iowa, will no longer run the subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee that deals with education spending.

His probable successor: Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., who has been the subcommittee’s ranking minority member and had chaired the panel when the GOP previously controlled the Senate.

Democrats have led those panels since Sen. James M. Jeffords of Vermont, at the time a Republican and the chairman of the Senate education committee, decided to become an Independent and support Democratic control of the chamber. After his switch, the Senate’s 50 Democrats, with his help, had what amounted to a two-seat advantage over the remaining 49 Republicans.

Depending on what happens with the Louisiana race, Republicans will have either a two-seat or three-seat majority in the next Congress.

Other Changes

Besides the shift in chairmanships, other changes on the congressional committees that deal with education are in the offing.

Sen. Tim Hutchinson, R-Ark., who lost to Democratic state Attorney General Mark Pryor, has been a member of the Senate education committee. And Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., a member of the Appropriations education subcommittee, faces the December runoff with Republican Suzanne Terrell.

Former Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander, a Republican elected to the Senate from Tennessee over Democratic Rep. Bob Clement, has said he would like to take a seat on the education committee.

In the House, a number of members of the Education and the Workforce Committee will not be in the coming Congress.

Among them: the late Rep. Patsy Mink, D-Hawaii, who died last month of viral pneumonia. Her name remained on the ballot, and she defeated three other candidates. Ms. Mink’s seat will now be declared vacant and a special election will be held Jan. 4, with the winner serving a full two-year term. That election further complicates the accounting of the exact partisan makeup of the House in the coming Congress.

Others leaving include Rep. Marge Roukema, R-N.J., and Rep. Bob Schaffer, R-Colo., who are retiring; Rep. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who was elected to the Senate Tuesday; and Rep. Van Hilleary, R-Tenn., who ran unsuccessfully for the Tennessee governorship.

Events

English-Language Learners Webinar Helping English-Learners Through Improved Parent Outreach: Strategies That Work
Communicating with families is key to helping students thrive – and that’s become even more apparent during a pandemic that’s upended student well-being and forced constant logistical changes in schools. Educators should pay particular attention
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Mathematics Webinar
Addressing Unfinished Learning in Math: Providing Tutoring at Scale
Most states as well as the federal government have landed on tutoring as a key strategy to address unfinished learning from the pandemic. Take math, for example. Studies have found that students lost more ground
Content provided by Yup Math Tutoring
Classroom Technology Webinar Building Better Blended Learning in K-12 Schools
The pandemic and the increasing use of technology in K-12 education it prompted has added renewed energy to the blended learning movement as most students are now learning in school buildings (and will likely continue

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Nearly a Million Kids Vaccinated in Week 1, White House Says
Experts say there are signs that it will be difficult to sustain the initial momentum.
4 min read
Leo Hahn, 11, gets the first shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. Last week, U.S. health officials gave the final signoff to Pfizer's kid-size COVID-19 shot, a milestone that opened a major expansion of the nation's vaccination campaign to children as young as 5. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Education How Schools Are Getting Kids the COVID Shot, and Why Some Aren’t
Some district leaders say offering vaccine clinics, with the involvement of trusted school staff, is key to helping overcome hesitancy.
5 min read
A girl walks outside of a mobile vaccine unit after getting the first dose of her COVID-19 vaccine, outside P.S. 277, Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, in the Bronx borough of New York. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)
Education Biden Administration Urges Schools to Provide COVID-19 Shots, Information for Kids
The Biden administration is encouraging local school districts to host vaccine clinics for kids and information on benefits of the shots.
2 min read
President Joe Biden, and first lady Jill Biden walk to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. Biden is spending the weekend at his home in Rehoboth Beach, Del. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Education Civil Rights Groups Sue Tennessee Over Law Against Transgender Student Athletes
The state law bars transgender athletes from playing public high school or middle school sports aligned with their gender identity.
3 min read
Amy Allen, the mother of an 8th grade transgender son, speaks after a Human Rights Campaign round table discussion on anti-transgender laws in Nashville, Tenn. on May 21, 2021.
Amy Allen, the mother of an 8th grade transgender son, speaks after a Human Rights Campaign round table discussion on anti-transgender laws in Nashville, Tenn. on May 21, 2021.
Mark Humphrey/AP