73°F
Sponsored by

Hutchinson Pushes to 'Change AR Law,' Add Computer Science in Classrooms

SPRINGDALE, AR-- The man who wants to be your next governor, is pushing for change in Arkansas classrooms.
SPRINGDALE, AR-- The man who wants to be your next Governor, is pushing for change in Arkansas classrooms. Former Congressman and Republican candidate for Governor, Asa Hutchinson, stopped in Springdale on Monday to make his case for bringing changes to Arkansas classrooms, and current state law. We were there as Hutchinson announced his plan to make the Natural State a national leader in technology, education and job creation. To do that, Hutchinson says it requires that computer science courses be made available in every high school in Arkansas. "That's a change from current law. Right now there's probably 10 high schools in Arkansas that offer computer science," says Hutchinson. "Fayetteville is one of those. So we need to change the law to make sure the student gets a math and science credit for it and that we offer it in every high school in Arkansas. It's a job creator for our state. This is the job skill of the future." Hutchinson tells us he'll be working with the legislature to change the law. His goal is to provide technical training in high schools that will be reinforced by enhancing the curriculum in colleges.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party of Arkansas is responding to Hutchinson's promise. In a written statement released Monday, a party spokesperson says in part, "In Congress, Hutchinson voted against funding for science education, Pell Grants and reducing classroom size. After nearly three decades as a career politician and D.C. lobbyist, Arkansans aren't buying Hutchinson's empty education promises."

Read the full statement below:


For Immediate Release
January 13, 2014


DPA Statement: Hutchinson’s Empty Education Promises

Little Rock - Democratic Party of Arkansas spokesperson Patrick Burgwinkle released the following statement on Asa Hutchinson’s education policy initiative.

“When it comes to investing in education, Arkansans know Asa Hutchinson can’t be trusted. Hutchinson has argued that Arkansas should ‘water down’ standards for public schools. In congress, Hutchinson voted against funding for science education, Pell grants and reducing classroom size. Hutchinson has also admitted that investing in education isn’t a priority for him and that his focus will be on providing tax cuts for the wealthy with any surplus funds.

“Hutchinson is a career politician whose anti-education record is clear. Arkansans have rejected it before because they know that creating the jobs of the future means investing in our public schools so that every child in Arkansas can reach their full potential. Hutchinson’s record on education is one of voting against a modern science education for students, against making college more affordable for working families and against smaller classrooms for students and teachers.

“After nearly 3 decades as a career politician and D.C. lobbyist, Arkansans aren’t buying Hutchinson’s empty education promises.”

EDUCATION STANDARDS

Asa Hutchinson proposed “that the state water down its academic standards for the public schools.” According to the El Dorado News Times, he proposed “that the state take a step, or three, backwards” on education. “Mr. Hutchinson...proposes that the state water down its academic standards for the public schools. For example, he’d let small schools opt out of the statewide requirement that high schools teach a minimum of 38 required courses on campus.”

“For too long now, Arkansas has found itself on the top of bad lists and on the bottom of the good ones. Especially in education. Now the state is starting to get good news here and there. Teacher salaries are up. Merit pay has a foothold. Scores are inching higher. Accountability is getting real. But now along comes a candidate for governor who proposes that the state take a step, or three, backwards.” (El Dorado News Times, 09/04/06)

FUNDING EDUCATION

Asa Hutchinson, in 1997, voted against funding for Head Start, child care grants, school construction, programs to reduce the number of students per classroom, Impact Aid, special education, vocational education, and Pell Grants. Asa Hutchinson, on September 17, 1997, was one of 80 House members who voted against the Fiscal Year 1998 Labor-Health and Human Services (HHS)-Education Appropriations bill, and on November 7, 1997, he was one of 65 House members who voted against the Fiscal Year 1998 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations conference report. Congressmen Berry, Snyder, and Dickey voted for this bill and conference report. (House of Representatives Vote 117, 1999, and The Post and Courier, 05/07/99)

Asa Hutchinson, on June 14, 2000, voted for passage of the Fiscal Year 2001 Labor-HHS- Education appropriations bill. Congressman Dickey also voted or passage, while Congressmen Berry and Snyder voted against passage. (House of Representatives Vote 273, 2000)

Before voting for this bill, Asa Hutchinson, on June 13, 2000, voted for the Young amendment to the bill, which was an amendment to cut spending across the board in the bill by 0.617 percent. Congressman Dickey also voted for this bill, while Congressmen Berry and Snyder voted against it. (House of Representatives Vote 269, 2000)

According to Congressman David Obey, this was an amendment to cut “$54 million from title I, $40 million from special education, $52 million from Pell grants, $4 million from after-school centers, $6 million from Impact Aid, $11 million from class- size initiative, $116 million for the National Institutes of Health, $35 million from Head Start, $30 million from job training, $7 million from community health centers, $9 million from low- income heating assistance program, and $6 million from Administration on Aging.” (Congressman David Obey, Floor Statement, 06/13/00)

In addition, Asa Hutchinson, on July 19, 2000, voted against a motion to instruct House conferees on H.R.4577 to insist that the conference report include certain minimum funding levels for certain education programs, such as Head Start and Pell Grants, and for the National Institutes of Health, as well as other programs. Congressman Dickey also voted against this motion, while Congressmen Berry and Snyder voted for it. (House of Representatives Vote 415, 2000)

This motion to instruct “says that the conferees should bring back a Labor-HHS-Education conference report that provides the increased funding in the Senate bill for the Department of Education in total and for several key programs such as special education, Pell grants, Head Start, child care, and the National Institutes of Health.”

This motion instructs conferees to agree with the Senate and provide “$8.3 billion to fund the maximum Pell grant of at least $3,650, an increase of $384 million over the House bill.” (Congressman David Obey, Floor Statement, 07/19/00)

Asa Hutchinson, in 2001, voted against increasing funding for education. Asa Hutchinson, on April 24, 2001, voted against a motion to instruct conferees on H.Con.Res.85 to insist that the conference report include language that would increase education funding to the maximum feasible, provide that Medicare prescription drug coverage costs not be taken from the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund surplus, increase Medicare prescription drug coverage funding to the level set by the Senate, and insist that the on-budget surplus for any fiscal year not be less than that year’s Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund surplus. Congressmen Berry, Snyder, and Ross voted for this motion. (House of Representatives Vote 85, 2001)

Asa Hutchinson, in 1998, 1999, and 2000, voted against funding to reduce the number of students per classroom. Asa Hutchinson, on July 20, 1999, voted against the Martinez substitute amendment to H.R.1995, which was an amendment to authorize $3 billion in Fiscal Year 2000 in education funding, with half of that set aside for efforts to reduce the number of students per classroom. Congressman Dickey also voted against this amendment, while Congressmen Berry and Snyder voted for it. (House of Representatives Vote 319, 1999)

SCIENCE & MATH

Asa Hutchinson voted against requiring school districts that participate in ed-flex, a federal program to give states and school districts flexibility in education decision-making, to ensure that their math and science teachers are properly trained, even though students in the U.S. trail students in many other countries in math and science test scores, at least in part due to poorly trained math and science teachers. Asa Hutchinson, on March 11, 1999, voted for H.R.800, which was a bill to expand the Education Flexibility Partnership program from 12 states to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and other U.S. territories. This program, commonly referred to as ed-flex, allows participating states to waive certain federal statutory or regulatory requirements for education programs, as well as state requirements, but requires states to have implemented content and performance standards and assessments required under the Title I program for disadvantaged students. (House of Representatives Vote 41, 1999)

Before voting for H.R.800, Asa Hutchinson voted against the Holt amendment to H.R.800, which was an amendment to require that schools participating in ed-flex and applying for a waiver of the math- science priority demonstrate in their application how the professional development needs of their teachers in the areas of science and math will be or are already being met. (House of Representatives Vote 37, 1999)

According to Congressman Rush Holt, a significant number of teachers who teach math and science in the United States are not trained to do so, and international tests show “that U.S. 12th graders lag behind the international average in science and math.” (Congressman Rush Holt, Floor Statement, 03/10/99)

Asa Hutchinson, in 1999, voted against increasing funding for science education. Asa Hutchinson, on October 4, 1999, voted against the Mollohan amendment to H.R.2684, which was an amendment to require the House managers on H.R.2684 to agree with the higher funding levels recommended in the Senate for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Science, Aeronautics and Technology and Mission Support accounts of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the National Science Foundation, which funds science education programs. (House of Representatives Vote 472, 1999)

Asa Hutchinson, in 1999, was one of 62 House members who voted against requiring states to ensure that students are receiving an adequate science education. Asa Hutchinson, on October 21, 1999, voted to pass H.R.2, which was a bill to authorize $9.9 billion for Title I and $5 million for the Women’s Equity Act. The bill did not include vouchers, but it did include a provision to require states and Title I school districts to report annually to parents and the public on their academic performance and give parents the option of switching their children out of low-performing Title I schools. (House of Representatives Vote 526, 1999)

Before voting for H.R.2, Asa Hutchinson, on October 10, 1999, was one of only 62 House members who voted against the Ehlers amendment to H.R.2, which was an amendment to add science to the list of the subjects for which states would be required to develop standards and assessments. Congressmen Dickey, Berry, and Snyder voted for this amendment. (House of Representatives Vote 525, 1999)

HIGHER EDUCATION

Asa Hutchinson, in 1986, opposed increases in federal funding to help students pay for college. “When asked...what specific programs should undergo funding reductions, Hutchinson replied that the...student loan programs should be examined. He said Congress should look at income limits for which students are eligible for loans and the amount of funding the program gets.” Asa Hutchinson and Senator Dale Bumpers, in 1986, filled out Arkansas Education Association (AEA) questionnaires. “Bumpers agreed with the AEA’s position in favor of federal funding increases for postsecondary education programs. Hutchinson was in disagreement.” In addition, “Bumpers agreed with the AEA’s position in favor of federal funding of financial assistance through grants and low-interest loans for all students pursuing a postsecondary education. Hutchinson said the AEA’s position was ‘too broad.’”

“When asked...what specific programs should undergo funding reductions, Hutchinson replied that the Small Business Administration and student loan programs should be examined. He said Congress should look at income limits for which students are eligible for loans and the amount of funding the program gets.” (Arkansas Democrat- Gazette, 02/12/86)

Asa Hutchinson voted against increasing the size of Pell Grants awarded to students who graduate at or near the top of their high school class, and he voted against increasing the size of Pell Grant awards. Asa Hutchinson, on May 5, 1998, voted against the McGovern amendment to H.R.6, which was an amendment to double the size of each Pell Grant awarded to a student who graduates in the top ten percent of the student’s high school graduation class. Congressman Dickey voted against this amendment, while Congressmen Berry and Snyder voted for it. (House of Representatives Vote 124, 1998)

Asa Hutchinson, on July 19, 2000, voted against a motion to instruct House conferees on H.R.4577 to insist that the conference report include certain minimum funding levels for certain education programs, such as Head Start and Pell Grants, and for the National Institutes of Health, as well as other programs. Congressman Dickey also voted against this motion, while Congressmen Berry and Snyder voted for it. (House of Representatives Vote 415, 2000)

This motion to instruct “says that the conferees should bring back a Labor-HHS-Education conference report that provides the increased funding in the Senate bill for the Department of Education in total and for several key programs such as special education, Pell grants, Head Start, child care, and the National Institutes of Health.”

This motion instructs conferees to agree with the Senate and provide “$8.3 billion to fund the maximum Pell grant of at least $3,650, an increase of $384 million over the House bill.” (Congressman David Obey, Floor Statement, 07/19/00)

Asa Hutchinson, in 1998, voted against establishing a grant program to encourage colleges and universities to establish information technology centers to educate “individuals who would normally not be exposed to...computer training and to the college environment.” Asa Hutchinson, on May 5, 1998, voted against the Owens amendment to H.R.6, which was an amendment to establish a $100 million grant program for colleges and universities to establish and oversee information technology education recruitment projects. (House of Representatives Vote 123, 1998)

According to Congressman Major Owens, this was an amendment to “authorize a competitive grant program for colleges and universities to establish and oversee information technology education recruitment projects. Higher education institutions would be expected to expand existing resources to establish computer-training centers off campus. Priority would be given to those colleges and universities that enter into partnerships with community-based organizations such as after- school centers and nonprofit cultural and educational organizations and even churches.”

This amendment recognized “that higher education institutions have the capacity and the resources to provide the major role for a comprehensive information technology education recruitment program. The Information Technology Partnerships Amendment offers an incentive for colleges and universities to leverage their existing resources, enter into partnerships with community groups and obtain input from industry groups to help educate and prepare American citizens for these vast job opportunities.

Colleges and universities would be expected to recruit the participants who will be trained at the computer education centers. Those recruits would go on for college study. This amendment would encourage colleges to recruit actively those individuals who would normally not be exposed to such computer training and to the college environment.” (Congressman Major Owens, Floor Statement, 04/29/98)

Page: [[$index + 1]]
comments powered by Disqus

More Local News