The House of Representatives recently released the names of the new members of their Education and Workplace committee.
As you can see, the new Chair of the committee is Representative Virginia Foxx from North Carolina, and she is exerting her voice as a proponent of school choice quite loudly.
Recent releases from the committee include:
But school choice is not the only thing that we have to look forward to from Representative Virginia Foxx.
She is also a believer in right to work!
In 2015 - 2016 she sponsored H.R.615 “National Right-to-Work Act.” She has made statements to announce her beliefs, questioning the needs for unions. Of course, it comes as no shock that she supports Andrew Puzder for Secretary of Labor.
Now she is the chair of the House Education and Workplace Committee.
But what exactly does this mean?
(The following words are not our own, but we found them to be quite succinct in their answer on a question form recently.)
In both the House and Senate, the primary privilege of being the Chair of any Committee is the ability to set the agenda. That is, they determine which legislation will be brought up for consideration and/or passage, as well as which topics will receive Congressional attention in the form of informative hearings. Committee Chairmen have a number of tools at their disposal to obtain their preferred policy outcomes. The best of these are (1) the ability to determine who from their party will be on their Committee (they have a large say, though possibly not final); (2) the ability to produce a "Chairman's mark" of any legislation the Committee considers, which can generally be used to render changes made to bills by Subcommittees pointless, as well as to remove and/or add provisions the Chairman doesn't or does like; and (3) the ability to reward or punish Committee members in various manners.
In simpler terms, the items she wants to have a vote on, will get introduced for passage.
First up - already a House Resolution H.R. 610 - to distribute Federal funds for elementary and secondary education in the form of vouchers for eligible students and to repeal a certain rule relating to nutrition standards in schools.
Basically, what passage of this would do is give the Secretary of Education the funds to create a national voucher program. This bill comes to the floor with a complete strategy that includes marketing techniques to give money directly to parents and make sure that no child goes hungry. Of course, we don’t want any child to go hungry. But to tie the two items together is a strategy that lawmakers do to pass an item that will receive push-back by tying it to an item that can be potentially good.
Of course, there is also a bill in the Senate S.235 to expand opportunity through greater choice in education, and for other purposes.
If Betsy DeVos is confirmed. This would enable all of HER dreams to come true: Choice and Vouchers will be a part of the national education program.
Join BATs on Sunday at 7pm (EST) for a live Facebook chat about vouchers and school choice.