"H.R. 1 no longer bears any resemblance to President Bush's education plan," Family Research Council President Ken Connor said Thursday. "With school choice and 'Straight A's' cut, the House education bill just pours more money into the same flawed system. Family Research Council has no other choice but to give H.R. 1 a failing grade."
The House Education and Workforce Committee voted 27-20 Wednesday to remove private school choice from H.R. 1, the House education bill. This provision would have allowed parents of low-income students in chronically failing schools to place their children in a private school. The committee previously drew criticism from conservative lawmakers and pro-family groups, like the Family Research Council, for removing "Straight A's" from the bill. Under this provision, states can either choose the education status quo or enter into a results-oriented contract that would give greater freedom in exchange for clearer accountability.
"The House committee had already ripped the conservative heart out of the education bill by taking 'Straight A's out," Mr. Connor said. "With school choice now excluded, the soul is gone, too. Unless Congressional leadership fights hard to reconfigure H.R. 1 into a revolutionary bill that will give local communities and parents more control over education, there is little hope this Congress will enact true education reform."
The Republican Study Committee released a statement this morning which listed groups and individuals now opposed to H.R. 1. In addition to Family Research Council, those opposed to the House education bill include: Dr. James Dobson and Focus on the Family; Concerned Women for America; Eagle Forum; Independent Women's Forum; Citizens for a Sound Economy; Free Congress Foundation; Education Policy Institute; Janet Parshall with "Janet Parshall's America"; Family First of Nebraska; Family Foundation of Kentucky; New Jersey Family Policy Council; Louisiana Family Forum; Pennsylvania Family Institute; Rocky Mountain Family Council; Free Market Foundation of Texas; Christian Civic League of Maine; South Dakota Family Policy Council.