FL Sr Senator (retiring 2004); Democratic Primary Candidate for President
Fund education fully, to reduce racial inequality
We need to see that every child is not left behind, the promise of President Bush, but not the reality of President Bush, because he has failed to fund that legislation.
I believe that a fundamental way in which we will bring our society together [in terms of racial divisiveness] is through improvement of our education for all our children.
Source: Democratic Debate in Columbia SC
May 3, 2003
Voted YES on funding smaller classes instead of private tutors.
Vote to authorize a federal program aimed at reducing class size. The plan would assist states and local education agencies in recruiting, hiring and training 100,000 new teachers, with $2.4 billion in fiscal 2002. This amendment would replace an amendme
Voted YES on funding student testing instead of private tutors.
Vote to pass an amendment that would authorize $200 million to provide grants to help states develop assessment systems that describe student achievement. This amendment would replace an amendment by Jeffords, R-VT, which would allow parents of under-per
Voted YES on spending $448B of tax cut on education & debt reduction.
Vote to reduce the size of the $1.6 trillion tax cut by $448 billion while increasing education spending by $250 billion and providing an increase of approximately $224 billion for debt reduction over 10 years.
Approval of national education standards.
Status: Bill Passed Y)71; N)25; NV)4
Reference: Goals 2000: Educate America Act;
Bill H.R. 1804
; vote number 1994-34
on Feb 8, 1994
Firmly opposed to Bush’s voucher proposal.
Graham signed the Senate New Democrat Coalition letter to Pres.-Elect Bush:
Dear President-Elect Bush,
As members of the Senate New Democrat Coalition and the House New Democrat Coalition, our first and foremost [priority is] education reform. As you know, a bicameral group of New Democrats introduced the “3 Rs” legislation last year. The “3Rs” bill is an example of the kind of bold, innovative approach that can form the basis of a bipartisan agreement to reform our public schools and boost the opportunities of our public schools. We are also well aware that you have endorsed a similar plan. While we remain firmly opposed to the voucher portion of your proposal, we believe that there are many areas of similarity in both approaches, providing an excellent opportunity for bipartisan agreement and compromise. We intend to re-introduce the “3Rs” legislation at the earliest opportunity later this month, and we look forward to working with you.
Source: Senate New Democrat Coalition letter to Pres.-Elect Bush 01-SNDC1 on Jan 11, 2001
Three R’s: $35B for Reinvestment,Reinvention,Responsibility.
Graham sponsored the Senate New Democrat Coalition Press Release:
The Public Education Reinvestment, Reinvention and Responsibility Act (Three R's) [is] the common ground from which bipartisan compromise on education reform will be successfully achieved. The Three R’s would provide public schools with significantly increased funding and flexibility, increasing federal investment in education by $35 billion over the next 5 years, and targeting most of those new dollars toward closing the persistent achievement gap between poor and more affluent students. State & local officials would be given broader latitude to decide how to allocate federal funding in order to meet the specific needs of their communities. In return, states would be required to set standards for raising academic achievement, and improve the quality of their teachers.
The “Three R’s” bill is based on the policy recommendations by the Progressive Policy Institute:
Streamline our national education priorities into five goal-oriented titles, focused on:
achievement gap between poor and more affluent children;
helping to improve teacher quality;
helping immigrant students master English and meet high standards in all subjects;
promoting public school choice; and
stimulating innovative local initiatives
Create a tough new accountability system that pegs program funding to academic performance standards set by the states, and require “report cards” so that parents know how their school is performing;
Reward states that exceed their standards with more flexibility and bonus funding, and for the first time ever, sanction those states that chronically fail to show improvements, by cutting administrative funds;
Increase funding for disadvantaged students by 50%;
Increase funding for teacher and principal professional development by more than 100%;
Increase funding for immigrant students by $1 billion annually to improve English proficiency;
Continue to reduce class size in the early grades.
Source: Senate New Democrat Coalition Press Release 01-SNDC5 on Jan 23, 2001
More foreign languages courses and exchange students.
Graham sponsored a Resolution on international education policy
Concurrent resolution expressing the sense of Congress that the United States should establish an international education policy to enhance national security, significantly further U.S. foreign policy and economic competitiveness, and promote mutual understanding and cooperation among nations. Includes among policy objectives:
producing citizens with a high level of international experience;
promoting greater diversity of locations, languages, and subjects involved in teaching, research, and study abroad;
increasing participation in internships abroad;
invigorating citizen and professional international exchange programs;
supporting visas and employment policies that promote increased numbers of international students;
encouraging programs that begin foreign language learning in the United States at an early age;
promoting educational exchanges and research collaboration with American educational institutions abroad; and
promoting partnerships among government, business, and educational institutions and organizations to provide adequate resources for implementing this policy.
Source: Resolution sponsored by 12 Senators 01-SR7 on Feb 1, 2001
Rated 100% by the NEA, indicating pro-public education votes.
Graham scores 100% by the NEA on public education issues
The National Education Association has a long, proud history as the nation's leading organization committed to advancing the cause of public education. Founded in 1857 "to elevate the character and advance the interests of the profession of teaching and to promote the cause of popular education in the United States," the NEA has remained constant in its commitment to its original mission as evidenced by the current mission statement:
To fulfill the promise of a democratic society, the National Education Association shall promote the cause of quality public education and advance the profession of education; expand the rights and further the interest of educational employees; and advocate human, civil, and economic rights for all.
In pursuing its mission, the NEA has determined that it will focus the energy and resources of its 2.7 million members toward the "promotion of public confidence in public education."
The ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.