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  • Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) Urges Sec. Duncan to Obey the Constitution

    Senator Marco Rubio (R–FL) urged Education Secretary Arne Duncan to remember the constitutional limitations placed on the executive branch in a letter to the Department of Education Tuesday.

    What prompted Rubio to express his concerns is the Obama Administration’s intention to, on the one hand, grant waivers to states for the onerous provisions of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) while, on the other hand, tying them to even more onerous centralized policy:

    Our principal concern is that the Executive branch does not possess the authority to force states into compliance with administration-backed reforms instituted through the issuance of waivers. We acknowledge that NCLB allows the Secretary to grant waivers for existing provisions under the law, but nowhere does the law authorize waivers in exchange for the adoption of administration-preferred policies. This initiative is an overstep of authority that undermines existing law, and violates the constitutional separation of powers. The responsibility for legislating lies with Congress, and forcing policy reforms through NCLB waivers violates this most basic of constitutional structures [emphasis added].

    The Senator is right to be concerned. President Obama has been unhappy with the pace at which NCLB reauthorization is taking place. The President wanted the 600-page, $25 billion bill reauthorized before the start of this school year. Congressional conservatives have argued against such massive bills on rushed timelines that don’t allow appropriate legislative and popular debate on policies so fundamental as the direction of local schools. When the reauthorization didn’t happen on his timeline, Obama decided that conditions-based waivers would do the job.

    We’ve seen this movie before, and we know how it ends: The Obama Administration is pushing its policy preferences on the American people by executive fiat instead of through the normal legislative process. It’s a process that’s rushed and opaque, and it skirts constitutional checks and balances.

    Rubio is also concerned with the Obama Administration’s push for national standards and tests:

    I am concerned that the administration’s requirements for granting a waiver from NCLB would entail states having to adopt a federally-approved “college and career ready” curriculum: either the national Common Core curriculum standards, or another federally-approved equivalent…. Such activities are unacceptable; they violate three existing laws: NCLB, the Department of Education Organization Act, and the General Education Provisions Act. All three laws prohibit the federal government from creating or prescribing national curriculum. If you believe that conditional waivers tied to content standards do not violate these laws, I invite you to explain the reasoning underlying that belief.

    Duncan had chided members for “congressional inaction,” citing this inaction as the rationale for extending conditions-based waivers to states. But the House Education and the Workforce Committee has already produced a package of bills as an alternative to a wholesale, ninth reauthorization of NCLB.

    Moreover, conservative alternatives to NCLB (such as the A-PLUS approach) would allow states to completely opt out of the many federal programs under NCLB and use dollars in a way that best meets student needs.

    So Duncan isn’t concerned with “congressional inaction.” He’s unhappy with congressional action that doesn’t further grow Washington’s role in education.

    In his closing, Rubio implores Duncan to give “due consideration…to options that have been advanced through Congress and provide genuine flexibility to states, so that state and local lawmakers—those closest to children and families can focus on high-quality education policies that will benefit our nation’s children.”



    Posted in Education [slideshow_deploy]

    19 Responses to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) Urges Sec. Duncan to Obey the Constitution

    1. Scott says:

      Someone should educate Mr. Rubio – and Heritage for continuing to beat this dead horse – about the difference between standards and curriculum. The Common Core State Standards are not curriculum – and requiring states to adopt some form of college and career ready standards (either the STATE-sponsored and developed Common Core or another such standard of their choosing) is not out of line and does not constitute a federally mandated curriculum. This isn't a hard concept folks – states are requited to have standards under current NCLB language, local districts align curriculum to those standards, the state assesses student progress toward those standards based on the teaching of the curriculum. Telling states they have to have college and career ready standards of their own choosing isn't any different than the current requirement under NCLB – where is the federal intrusion there?

    2. Thank God this man is working on our behalf.

    3. guest says:

      Marco Rubio makes me proud to be a Floridian. He will hopefully someday the President of the USA and is right on with all of his ideas and initiatives. He makes the amateur bureaucrats in the current administration look like fools and rightly so. Great job Marco, you are doing what so many old-timers in Congress continue to fail to do and that is to really lead and be steadfast and firm in their beliefs based on reasonable and common sense, tried-and-true logic. Well done sir!

    4. Joey Cochran says:

      When will people realize that those closest to the problems (teachers and parents) can solve the issues with more efficiency than some politician hundreds of miles away. Thank you Senator for trying to keep them honest!

      • Tammi says:

        Joey you are absolutely right. The problems in our schools start at home and move to the school. It has nothing to do with how much money we spend but how little effort is put into raising the children well. In our homeschool communities kids are excelling, the difference is the quality of the curriculum and the time spent with someone who really cares about them.

    5. This consideration of rights afforded us by the Constitution, and subsequent letter to the Secretary of Education, means Senator Rubio is standing up for his constituents. Bravo Marco! Thank you for your support!

    6. clnan says:

      What a disappointment to my State. Rubio is going to ruin everything that is good. I am so upset he even was elected.

    7. Judy says:

      We expect great things from you, Marco. We are watching…

    8. Bobbie says:

      Thank you Mr. Rubio, for standing firm on correcting the unconstitutional! Please hold em to the fire! Honesty is much more productive then having to deal with all this deception and trap settings of the democratic left and rino traitors. They'll (dems) use the Constitution for mere convenience while they turn around to call it outdated! The Constitution sets government straight and disciplines in good favor of, for and by the people. Please don't hesitate to hold them accountable!!

      God Bless the courage and intellect of those in government focused on the healing of this country!

      If any American wants socialism, It's a minority. few! Socialism is not American! Freedom is! Please don't let the polls change the focus! Don't even bother looking at any but the reputable ones of honesty!

      People will build self worth once they understand to take on their personal/parental responsibilities that never called for government oversight where it's intruding now! God Bless you, God Bless human endurance, integrity!! God Bless America and all Americans!

    9. Hoss says:

      Marco Your one hell-of-a-man…..Power be with you. But please remember the other side does not give a damn about the Constitution…

    10. I am thankful many Floridians voted for Marco Rubio, as I did. He is being true to the principles he was elected on. God bless him for standing up for what is right.

    11. Tinker16 says:

      Thank you, Marco Rubio for taking up te issues of administration excesses in educating our children. It is my strong belief that education of the nation's children should be left to the states. There is increasing socialist influence from the DOE, which I think should be defunded as soon as possible.

    12. Californian says:

      I am so glad our founding fathers thought of checks and balances when drafting the Constitution. I don't think I can remember a time in all my years when we have needed them more than under the Obama Administration. How I pray he does NOT get re-elected. Thank you Senator Marco Rubio for representing the people and looking after us and our childrens interest. God Bless.

    13. AndreaM says:

      Why does it seem that Marco is the ONLY one in DC with any common sense and courage? We Floridians got lucky when he decided to run for office; I'm curious if there's anyone in any other states who would say the same about their Senator?

      Of course, I'd have to exempt those in ILL from answering this question, since you wouldn't know a decent politician if he came up and spit in your face. (Blago, BO, and now Rahm Emmanuel?! That's who you choose to represent you? Next time, do the rest of the country a favor and stay home on Election Day.)

    14. Ellen Aversa says:

      Marco Rubio for President!!!! The bright future of the Republican Party……a man of character, intelligence and great charisma.

    15. pattiofurniture says:

      Finally a statsman and not a politition. Maro… thank you for reminding these people about the sanctity of an OATH!

    16. Daria Novak - CT says:

      Senator Rubio has everything it takes to be a great statesman. I only wish our U.S. Senators in Connecticut had the intelligence, integrity, wisdom and guts that Marco Rubio possesses! We are taking back CT and will break the liberal backbone of Southern New England in 2012, but we still need good, principled, experienced individuals to step up to run.

    17. TS Walker says:

      Senator – A jump start for the economy- raise the fed 1%- I know we can lose some loan activity with higher interest rates but look at the increased interest on investments- that's the money that will be used for spending and get the cash flow going for the economy again. thanks- "The $14 Man"

      • Mike J- TX says:

        You sound just like the idiots in D.C. There is plenty of money currently raised with Taxes. The problems are how it is carelessly spent and the falling value of the dollar.

        The value of the dollar continues to fall due to rising gas prices. Higher prices at the pump, higher prices for shipping. Higher shipping cost, higher retail cost and so on.

        Got d**n it America, when the f**k are we going to wake up? We need a revolution in this mother****er or we can just vote for people of integrity and ambition like Rubio.

        In conclusion, you can't just throw money at a problem, you acgtually have to fix the cause of the problem.

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