Federal File

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints

Election Seasoning

It's back-to-school and back-to-Capitol-Hill time, a convergence that had Washington lawmakers scurrying to microphones last week to unveil a clutch of catchy-sounding education bills to capture public attention.

Fresh from their August recess—and just two months away from the midterm elections—members of both parties rolled out legislative initiatives at competing press conferences.

Several Democrats, led by Rep. Chaka Fattah of Pennsylvania and Sen. Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut, unveiled the proposed Student Bill of Rights Act of 2002. It would, among other provisions, compel states to ensure that all school districts within state lines received comparable educational services.

"Poor children in every state are still the least likely to get a quality education," Mr. Fattah said.

Finding yet another play on the title of the K-12 education law President Bush signed last January, several GOP senators unveiled the "No Child EVER Left Behind" initiative. It proposes to make permanent a set of education tax credits, most of which are set to expire in 2010.

Not all of the action last week was at press conferences. The House Ways and Means Committee passed, on a largely party-line vote, what it calls the Back to School Tax Relief Act of 2002. It would allow families of lower income levels to deduct $3,000 in K-12 educational expenses, including tuition at private schools. A day earlier, Democrats defeated a measure brought before the full House that would have made permanent certain other education tax measures already in law.

Meanwhile, the House Education and the Workforce Committee overwhelmingly passed a measure that would offer student-loan forgiveness to college graduates who opt for a career in teaching. In fact, that one wins the truth-in-titling award: Its acronym, CLASS ACT, is shorthand for "Canceling Loans to Allow School Systems to Attract Classroom Teachers" Act.

But with everything else on Congress' plate—13 spending bills, legislation to create a Department of Homeland Security, and deliberations over a potential war in Iraq—delivering even a bipartisan bill to the president's desk could be difficult. On all of the legislation, the only votes that really count may well be those lawmakers hope to generate in the polling booth.

—Erik W. Robelen

Vol. 22, Issue 2, Page 23

Published in Print: September 11, 2002, as Federal File

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories





Sponsor Insights

Free Ebook: How to Implement a Coding Program in Schools

Successful Intervention Builds Student Success

Effective Ways to Support Students with Dyslexia

Stop cobbling together your EdTech

Integrate Science and ELA with Informational Text

Can self-efficacy impact growth for ELLs?

Disruptive Tech Integration for Meaningful Learning

Building Community for Social Good

5 Resources on the Power of Interoperability from Unified Edtech

New campaign for UN World Teachers Day

5 Game-Changers in Today’s Digital Learning Platforms

Hiding in Plain Sight - 7 Common Signs of Dyslexia in the Classroom

The research: Reading Benchmark Assessments

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

All Students Are Language Learners: The Imagine Learning Language Advantage™

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

How to Support All Students with Equitable Pathways

2019 K-12 Digital Content Report

3-D Learning & Assessment for K–5 Science

Climate Change, LGBTQ Issues, Politics & Race: Instructional Materials for Teaching Complex Topics

Closing the Science Achievement Gap

Evidence-based Coaching: Key Driver(s) of Scalable Improvement District-Wide

Advancing Literacy with Large Print

Research Sheds New Light on the Reading Brain

Tips for Supporting English Learners Through Personalized Approaches

Student Engagement Lessons from 3 Successful Districts

Response to Intervention Centered on Student Learning

The Nonnegotiable Attributes of Effective Feedback

SEE MORE Insights >