In January, there was a hard fought battle over the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as secretary of education. “Compassionate conservative” Rob Portman was begged by Ohioans to vote NO, and considering that it took a tie breaking vote by the Vice President to confirm this nominee, a NO vote by Portman would have made all the difference.
Now in May, as the President’s budget is being rolled out, the real dangers of an anti-public school Education Secretary who has no experience dealing with a huge budget or, apparently, concern for students are clear.
In the final part of our Women’s History Month series, let’s examine Rob Portman and Bob Latta’s recent records on education. Sen. Portman recently made news by voting in favor of Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education, despite vocal protests from constituents all across Ohio. More about that below. How does Rob do overall? And what about Bob Latta? Read on to find out more.
In honor of International Women’s Day, let’s review some recent legislation related to women.
The Good News:
Two bills were recently (Feb. 28, 2017) passed by Congress and signed into law by the President. One authorizes “the National Science Foundation to support entrepreneurial programs for women” – it’s called the “Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act.”
The other, the “Inspiring the Next Space Pioneers, Innovators, Researchers, and Explorers (INSPIRE) Women Act,” mandates development of a plan for connecting current and retired NASA scientists, engineers, and astronauts (particularly women) with K-12 female STEM students.
These two bills were so overwhelmingly supported, that they were passed through consensus, without needed a roll call vote.
Update: H.J. Res 57
H.J. Res 57 rolls back an Obama-era department of Education rule that applies state accountability standards uniformly to all schools in a state, including for-profit charter schools.
What’s happening now?
- The resolution to repeal the accountability implementation rule, H.J. Res 57, was introduced Feb 1, 2017
- The resolution passed the house on Feb. 7, 2017
- The resolution was voted on in the Senate on Mar. 9, 2017
Unfortunately, this bill passed 50 to 49, but interestingly, Rob Portman was the only Republican to vote with Democrats against this resolution. It may not make up for helping to confirm DeVos, but it’s worth telling Rob that you appreciate his support for education accountability for ALL schools.