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James Lankford on Education

 

 


God gives parents responsibility to equip children for life

God gives parents the primary responsibility to equip their child for life. Parents and guardians want the best for their children, so it is right to allow them to choose the option that works best as no child is the same nor does any child learn the same. Parents and guardians should be afforded the right to choose the best option for their child whether that be home school, public school, private school or charter school.
Source: 2021 Oklahoma Senate campaign website JamesLankford.com , Jun 21, 2021

Voted YES on reauthorizing the DC opportunity scholarship program.

Congressional Summary:The SOAR Act award five-year grants on a competitive basis to nonprofit organizations to carry out an expanded school choice opportunities to students who are District of Columbia residents and who come from households:
  1. receiving assistance under the supplemental nutrition assistance program; or
  2. with incomes not exceeding 185% of the poverty line.
Provides funds to the Mayor of DC, if the Mayor agrees to specified requirements, for:
  1. the DC public schools to improve public education, and
  2. the DC public charter schools to improve and expand quality public charter schools.

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:
[Rep. Bishop, R-UT]: In 1996, Congress insisted upon a charter school program in DC. You will hear from both sides of the aisle recognition of the great value that that program has, and justifiably so. There is a waiting list in DC for those charter schools. This bill increases the percentage of funding going to charter schools in the District. In 2003, an Opportunity Scholarship was instituted, at the insistence of Congress. Again, there was a waiting list of people wanting the opportunity; disadvantaged kids who wanted the opportunity that this scholarship afforded them. There were 216 kids at the time scheduled to enter the program who were not allowed; the bill remedies that.

Opponent's Argument for voting No:
[Rep. Hastings, D-FL]: In the last 41 years voters have rejected private school vouchers every time they have been proposed. In 1981, 89% of the people in a referendum in DC voted against vouchers. So how dare we come here to tell these people that we are going to thrust upon them something they don't want without a single public official in this community being consulted. Congress' oversight of the District is not an excuse for political pandering to the Republicans' special interest of the day du jour.

Reference: Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Act (SOAR); Bill HRes186 ; vote number 11-HV200 on Mar 30, 2011

$110M per year to teach abstinence in public schools.

Lankford co-sponsored Abstinence Education Reallocation Act

Congressional Summary:Authorizes the Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to award grants for qualified sexual risk avoidance education to youth and their parents. Requires such education to meet certain criteria, including:

  1. being age-appropriate, medically accurate, and evidence-based;
  2. teaching the skills and benefits of sexual abstinence as the optimal sexual health behavior for youth; and
  3. teaching the benefits of refraining from nonmarital sexual activity, the advantage of reserving sexual activity for marriage, and the foundational components of a healthy relationship.
Gives priority to programs that serve youth ages 12 to 19 and that will promote the protective benefits of parent-child communication regarding healthy sexual decisionmaking.

Opponent's argument against bill: (Nick Wing on Huffington Post) How much could it cost to keep teenagers from having sex? More than $100 million per year over the course of five years would be a good starting place, according to the Abstinence Education Reallocation Act. The bill seeks to award $550 million in Affordable Care Act grants over five years to programs that provide teenagers with abstinence-only education.

The abstinence-only effort stands as an effective counter to the Democratic-backed Real Education for Healthy Youth Act. Introduced the same day as the Abstinence Education Reallocation Act, the bill seeks to "expand comprehensive sex education programs in schools and ensure that federal funds are spent on effective, age-appropriate, medically accurate programs." The legislation would also set down guidelines calling for sexual health programs that receive federal funding to feature LGBT-inclusive language on a variety of issues, reject gender stereotypes and provide accurate information about HIV.

Source: S.13 / H.R.718 13-H0718 on Feb 15, 2013

Denounce the Common Core State Standards.

Lankford co-sponsored Resolution against Common Core

Congressional summary:: Strongly denouncing the President's coercion of States into adopting the Common Core State Standards by conferring preferences in Federal grants:

    Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that--
  1. States and local educational agencies should maintain the right and responsibility of determining educational curricula;
  2. the Federal Government should not incentivize the adoption of common education standards; and
  3. no application process for any Federal grant funds should provide any preference for the adoption of the Common Core State Standards.

    Opponent's argument against (CoreStandards.org): The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. 45 states have adopted the Common Core State Standards [not adopted in TX, NE, AK, MN, and VA]. The nation's governors and education commissioners, through their representative organizations the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) led the development of the Common Core State Standards and continue to lead the initiative. Teachers, parents, school administrators and experts from across the country together with state leaders provided input into the development of the standards.

    Source: HRes.476 & SRes.345 14-HR0476 on Feb 11, 2014

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    Page last updated: Dec 24, 2021