Federal

Boehner To Lead House Education Committee

By Lisa Fine — January 10, 2001 3 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Rep. John A. Boehner, a Republican from Ohio once known for his close ties to former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, has been named the new chairman of the House education committee.

House Republican leaders tapped Mr. Boehner last week to replace Rep. Bill Goodling, R-Pa., who retired last week after a quarter-century in Congress that was capped by a six-year term as the chairman of the Education and the Workforce Committee.

Rep. John A. Boehner

Mr. Boehner, who at one time was the fourth-ranking Republican in the House, will now be in a position to help decide the fate of President-elect Bush’s education initiatives in the new 107th Congress.

“I’m grateful for the chance to lead the committee into a new era,” Mr. Boehner, 51, said in a prepared statement. “I look forward to working with my committee colleagues—Republican and Democrat alike—to make positive reforms for Americans from grade school to the golden years.”

Rep. Boehner, who has served on the education committee since his first term in Congress in 1991, said he would lead the panel to find a consensus on legislation aimed at “raising performance, and giving parents and teachers the flexibility they need to help students achieve success.” He also said he would work to close the achievement gap between disadvantaged students and their better-off peers.

Democrats on the House committee also have a new leader: Rep. George Miller of California. Mr. Miller replaces Rep. William L. Clay of Missouri, who retired last week as the committee’s ranking Democrat.

In the Senate, which is divided equally between Republicans and Democrats for the first time in more than a century, Sen. James M. Jeffords, R- Vt., will remain the chairman of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts will continue as the committee’s ranking Democrat.

Senate Democrats will likely add at least one committee member as a result of a power-sharing arrangement still being discussed at press time by Senate leaders.

Part of the ‘Gang’

House leaders chose Rep. Boehner over a more senior committee member, Rep. Tom Petri, R-Wis., who was also vying for the slot. Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich., an outspoken critic of the Department of Education, had also been competing for the position.

Unlike Mr. Goodling, a former teacher and superintendent, Mr. Boehner does not have a background in education.

“He doesn’t have the experience like Goodling, whose name was linked with education,” said Diane Shust, the manager of federal relations for the National Education Association. “Goodling will be hard to replace. A question about Mr. Boehner is how committed to education he will be. The committee has the labor issues as well.”

A former plastics and packaging executive, Mr. Boehner represents Ohio’s solidly Republican 8th Congressional District, located in the southwestern part of the state. He has had a high-profile role in his party since he entered the House, when he was part of the “Gang of Seven” freshmen who pushed for congressional reforms in the wake of the House Bank scandal.

With then-Speaker Gingrich’s backing, Rep. Boehner’s colleagues elected him chairman of the House Republican Conference in 1994. He held that No. 4 position in the House GOP hierarchy until 1999, when he was unseated by Rep. J.C. Watts of Oklahoma.

On education matters, Mr. Boehner in 1994 sponsored a measure allowing school districts to use Title I money to pay for public-school-choice programs; that measure was passed as part of that year’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization. He later introduced legislation to help students with college loans and worked to promote the Education Flexibility Partnership Act of 1999, which expanded the existing “Ed Flex” program. Under the program, states are permitted to waive regulations governing certain federal aid programs.

Mr. Boehner’s selection last week was part of a major shift in the House in which nearly every committee chairman was replaced under term limits instituted by the Republicans after they won control of the chamber in 1994. Chairmen may serve only six years.

The Republican Conference also decided last week to reject a plan to create a committee devoted strictly to education. Rep. Hoekstra had touted a proposal to strip workforce issues from the committee’s duties. Reps. Boehner and Petri favored leaving the committee’s jurisdiction as it stands.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the January 10, 2001 edition of Education Week as Boehner To Lead House Education Committee

Events

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
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
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Whole Child Approach to Supporting Positive Student Behavior 
To improve student behavior, it’s important to look at the root causes. Social-emotional learning may play a preventative role.

A whole child approach can proactively support positive student behaviors.

Join this webinar to learn how.
Content provided by Panorama
Student Achievement Webinar Examining the Evidence: What We’re Learning From the Field About Implementing High-Dosage Tutoring Programs
Tutoring programs have become a leading strategy to address COVID-19 learning loss. What evidence-based principles can district and school leaders draw on to design, implement, measure, and improve high-quality tutoring programs? And what are districts

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

Federal Schools Could Count Nonbinary Students Under Biden Proposal
The Civil Rights Data Collection for this school year could also revive questions about inexperienced teachers and preschool discipline.
6 min read
Image of a form with male and female checkboxes.
iStock/Getty
Federal 'Parents' Bill of Rights' Underscores Furor Over Curriculum and Transparency in Schools
U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley's bill highlights how education issues like critical race theory will likely stay in the national political spotlight.
7 min read
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., speaks during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the conclusion of military operations in Afghanistan and plans for future counterterrorism operations, Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington.
U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., says "it's time to give control back to parents, not woke bureaucrats."
Patrick Semansky/AP
Federal Opinion It’s Not Just the NSBA That’s Out of Touch. There’s a Bigger Problem
Those who influence educational policy or practice would do well to care about what parents and the public actually want.
4 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Federal Dept. of Ed., Florida Continue to Battle Over Ban on School Mask Mandates
Federal officials say they’ll intervene if the Florida Dept. of Ed. goes ahead with sanctions on districts with mask mandates.
Ana Ceballos, Miami Herald
2 min read
Florida Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran speaks alongside Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, rear right, Fla. Sen. Manny Diaz Jr., left, state legislators, parents and educators, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, at the Doral Academy Preparatory School in Doral, Fla.
Florida Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran speaks alongside Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, rear right, Fla. Sen. Manny Diaz Jr., left, state legislators, parents and educators, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, at the Doral Academy Preparatory School in Doral, Fla.
Wilfredo Lee/AP