Federal

Federal File

July 11, 2001 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Quid Pro Quotes

“Is Congress owned by teacher unions?”

The answer to that loaded question, according to Choices for Children, a pro-voucher group in Grand Rapids, Mich., that used it to headline a recent press release, is, not surprisingly, yes.

“The teacher unions have pumped over $10 million into our Congress in the past seven years and gotten complete obedience for it,” the group’s chairwoman, Betsy DeVos, contended in the June 21 release. An accompanying study seeks to connect the dots between votes related to private school choice—mostly vouchers—and Federal Elections Commission data on campaign contributions.

But while Congress has rejected vouchers the past several years, the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers have not always gotten their way, even on school choice. Another measure Choices for Children included in its analysis— allowing tax-free savings for private school tuition, among other expenses—was approved by Congress this spring over union opposition.

The report sees a “nearly direct correlation” between union donations and votes on “educational choice.” For example, union donations were 10 times more likely to flow to senators who opposed private-school-choice, the report says.

Rebecca Fleischauer, an NEA spokeswoman, said union largess does not explain Congress’ rejection of vouchers. Congress said no, she said, because the public would rather put tax dollars into public schools, and vouchers do not increase student achievement.


Matter of Principals

Dan Quayle, take heart.

Whoever addressed the envelopes for a recent, Department of Education mailing to school principals across the country would never survive the first round of a spelling bee.

The outside of the mass-mailed, brown envelopes—a reminder to celebrate Memorial Day—said in capital letters: “ATTENTION: PRINCIPLE.”

—Erik Robelen and Alan Richard

A version of this article appeared in the July 11, 2001 edition of Education Week

Events

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
Teaching Profession Webinar
Professional Wellness Strategies to Enhance Student Learning and Live Your Best Life
Reduce educator burnout with research-affirmed daily routines and strategies that enhance achievement of educators and students alike. 
Content provided by Solution Tree
English-Language Learners Webinar The Science of Reading and Multilingual Learners: What Educators Need to Know
Join experts in reading science and multilingual literacy to discuss what the latest research means for multilingual learners in classrooms adopting a science of reading-based approach.
School & District Management K-12 Essentials Forum Get a Strong Start to the New School Year
Get insights and actions from Education Week journalists and expert guests on how to start the new school year on strong footing.

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 Use Your 'Teacher Voice,' Jill Biden Urges in a Push for Political Activism
Voting in the midterms is a critical step educators can take to bolster democracy, the first lady and other labor leaders told teachers.
5 min read
First Lady Jill Biden speaks during the American Federation of Teachers convention, Friday, July 15, 2022, in Boston.
First lady Jill Biden speaks during the American Federation of Teachers convention in Boston.
Michael Dwyer/AP
Federal Federal Initiative Leverages COVID Aid to Expand After-School, Summer Learning
The Education Department's Engage Every Student effort includes partnerships with civic organizations and professional groups.
3 min read
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona speaks at an event on June 2, 2022, at the Department of Education in Washington.
U.S. Secretary of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona speaks at an event at the Department of Education in Washington in June. The department has announced a push for expanded access to after-school and summer learning programs.
Jacquelyn Martin/AP
Federal Restraint and Seclusion, and Disability Rights: Ed. Department Has Work to Do, Audit Finds
The Government Accountability Office releases a checklist of how the U.S. Department of Education is performing on a list of priorities.
4 min read
Flags decorate a space outside the office of the Education Secretary at the Education Department in Washington on Aug. 9, 2017.
Flags decorate a space outside the office of the Education Secretary at the U.S. Department of Education. The Government Accountability Office has released recommended priorities for the Education Department that target special education rights.
Jacquelyn Martin/AP
Federal Biden Administration Boosts Grants for Community Schools, Sharpens Funding Priorities
The Education Department will award $68 million through its Full-Service Community Schools program.
2 min read
First-graders Rhiannon Hanson, left, and Holden Ashbrook make fruit skewers in class at Lincoln Elementary School in Dubuque, Iowa, on Jan. 20, 2022. Project Rooted has partnered with Dubuque Community Schools for a pilot program in which it provides monthly boxes containing local foods and a project to first-grade classrooms.
First-graders Rhiannon Hanson, left, and Holden Ashbrook make fruit skewers at Lincoln Elementary School in Dubuque, Iowa. The U.S. Department of Education is providing grants to high-quality community schools that provide wraparound services like the nutrition programs at Lincoln Elementary.
Jessica Reilly/Telegraph Herald via AP