Republican Sr Senator; previously Representative (SC-3)
States were bribed & coerced into adopting Common Core
Common Core: "The Obama administration has effectively bribed and coerced states into adopting Common Core. Blanket education standards should not be a prerequisite for federal funding. In order to have a competitive application for
some federal grants and flexibility waivers, states have to adopt Common Core. This is simply not the way the Obama administration should be handling education policy." February 2014.
No Child Left Behind: "NCLB was a historic effort to bring about accountability to our schools and measure achievement and progress of our students. As with any major changes in federal policy,
it appears some parts have worked while others have not. I think it is important to meet with men and women who spend their lives educating children to hear their views on NCLB." October 2007.
I made homeschool graduates eligible for military service
Local control of education: "Education belongs in the hands of our parents, local officials, and states." February 2014.
Homeschooling: "When you look at the outcomes of homeschooling, it will just blow you away. So, here, you can take
this one to the bank: You've got no better friend than Lindsey Graham for homeschooling as an option. And I was the one who convinced the Department of Defense to allow homeschool graduates to be eligible for military service." September 2013.
Parental rights in education: "The rights of parents are under assault from school districts, teachers' unions, and activist judges. Parental rights do not and should not end at the schoolhouse door.
Eliminating parental input regarding public school decisions is a disaster for public schools. The last thing we need to do is to alienate or destroy parental involvement in public education." December 2007.
Before the 60s, we were able to say a prayer in school
On religion in schools (September 2013): "In the early sixties, there was a war declared on religion in this country. How many of you remember going to school, being able to say a prayer? How many of you believe the fact that your children can't
pray at a football game or say a prayer to their god if they choose to in a public setting has made this country worse off? I hope the presidential nominee for 2016 will embrace social conservatism in a tolerant way."
Source: Fordham Institute EduWatch 2016 by Brandon White
, Jun 3, 2015
States were bribed and coerced into adopting Common Core
Back in 2013 an audience member asked him a question about Common Core State Standards and he replied, "What's that?" Just a few months later he sponsored a bill to denounce the nationwide curriculum initiative.
Here are some of his views on the Common Core State Standards:
"The Obama Administration has effectively bribed and coerced states into adopting Common Core. Blanket education standards should not be a prerequisite for federal funding.
In order to have a competitive application for some federal grants and flexibility waivers, states have to adopt Common Core.
This is simply not the way the Obama Administration should be handling education policy. Our resolution affirms that education belongs in the hands of our parents, local officials and states."
Voted NO on additional $10.2B for federal education & HHS projects.
Vote on the passage of the bill, the American Competitiveness Scholarship Act, the omnibus appropriations bill for the Departments of Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Labor. Pres. Bush then vetoed the Bill.
Proponents support voting YES because:
Rep. OBEY: This bill, more than any other, determines how willing we are to make the investment necessary to assure the future strength of this country and its working families. The President has chosen to cut the investments in this bill by more than $7.5 billion in real terms. This bill rejects most of those cuts.
Opponents recommend voting NO because:
Rep. LEWIS: This bill reflects a fundamental difference in opinion on the level of funding necessary to support the Federal Government's role in education, health and workforce programs. The bill is $10.2 billion over the President's budget request. While many of these programs are popular on both sides of the aisle, this bill contains what can
rightly be considered lower priority and duplicative programs. For example, this legislation continues three different programs that deal with violence prevention. An omnibus bill is absolutely the wrong and fiscally reckless approach to completing this year's work. It would negate any semblance of fiscal discipline demonstrated by this body in recent years.
Veto message from President Bush:
This bill spends too much. It exceeds [by $10.2 billion] the reasonable and responsible levels for discretionary spending that I proposed to balance the budget by 2012. This bill continues to fund 56 programs that I proposed to terminate because they are duplicative, narrowly focused, or not producing results. This bill does not sufficiently fund programs that are delivering positive outcomes. This bill has too many earmarks--more than 2,200 earmarks totaling nearly $1 billion. I urge the Congress to send me a fiscally responsible bill that sets priorities.
Reference: American Competitiveness Scholarship Act;
Bill H.R. 3043
; vote number 2007-391
on Oct 23, 2007
Voted NO on $52M for "21st century community learning centers".
To increase appropriations for after-school programs through 21st century community learning centers. Voting YES would increase funding by $51.9 million for after school programs run by the 21st century community learning centers and would decrease funding by $51.9 million for salaries and expenses in the Department of Labor.
No Child Left Behind Act of 2001: Vote to pass a bill that would authorize $22.8 billion in education funding, a 29 percent increase from fiscal 2001. The bill would require states to test students to track progress.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Boehner R-OH;
Bill HR 1
; vote number 2001-145
on May 23, 2001
Voted YES on allowing vouchers in DC schools.
Vote to create a non-profit corporation to administer federally-funded vouchers for low-income children in the District of Columbia.
Reference: Amendment introduced by Armey, R-TX;
Bill HR 4380
; vote number 1998-411
on Aug 6, 1998
Voted YES on vouchers for private & parochial schools.
Vote to pass a bill to allow states to use certain federal funds designated for elementary and secondary education to provide scholarships, or vouchers, to low-income families to send their children to private schools, including religious schools.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Riggs, R-CA;
Bill HR 2746
; vote number 1997-569
on Nov 4, 1997
Let schools display the words "God Bless America".
Graham co-sponsored a Congressional Resolution on support for the Nation:
Title: Expressing the sense of the Congress that public schools may display the words "God Bless America" as an expression of support for the Nation.
Source: House Resolution Sponsorship 01-HCR248 on Oct 12, 2001
Supports requiring schools to allow prayer.
Graham co-sponsored a bill requiring schools to allow voluntary prayer:
No DOE funds shall be available to any educational agency which prevents participation in constitutionally protected prayer in public schools by individuals on a voluntary basis. No educational agency shall require any person to participate in prayer or influence the form or content of any constitutionally protected prayer in such public schools.
H.Con.Res.199 (Nov 19, 1999, Bonilla et. al.)
Expressing the sense of the Congress that prayers and invocations at public school sporting events contribute to the moral foundation of our Nation and urging the Supreme Court to uphold their constitutionality.
Recognizing the authority of public schools to allow students to exercise their constitutional rights by establishing a period of time for silent prayer or meditation or reflection, encouraging the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, and refusing to discriminate against individuals or groups on account of their religious character or speech.
H.J.RES. 54, Students' Rights Resolution of 2001, 6/21/2001 (Smith (TX), Rahall, Hall (TX), Hilleary, Barr (GA), Souder, Smith (NJ), Buyer)
S. 73, Voluntary School Prayer Protection Act, 1/22/2001 (Helms)
H.R.1, No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (Boehner, et. al.)
Rated 27% by the NEA, indicating anti-public education votes.
Graham scores 27% 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.
Sponsored $110M per year to teach abstinence in public schools.
Graham sponsored Abstinence Education Reallocation Act
Congressional Summary:Authorizes the Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to award grants for qualified sexual risk avoidance education to youth and their parents. Requires such education to meet certain criteria, including:
being age-appropriate, medically accurate, and evidence-based;
teaching the skills and benefits of sexual abstinence as the optimal sexual health behavior for youth; and
teaching the benefits of refraining from nonmarital sexual activity, the advantage of reserving sexual activity for marriage, and the foundational components of a healthy relationship.
Gives priority to programs that serve youth ages 12 to 19 and that will promote the protective benefits of parent-child communication regarding healthy sexual decisionmaking.
Opponent's argument against bill: (Nick Wing on Huffington Post)
How much could it cost to keep teenagers from having sex? More than $100 million per year over the course of five years would be a good starting place, according to the Abstinence Education Reallocation Act. The bill seeks to award $550 million in Affordable Care Act grants over five years to programs that provide teenagers with abstinence-only education.
The abstinence-only effort stands as an effective counter to the Democratic-backed Real Education for Healthy Youth Act. Introduced the same day as the Abstinence Education Reallocation Act, the bill seeks to "expand comprehensive sex education programs in schools and ensure that federal funds are spent on effective, age-appropriate, medically accurate programs." The legislation would also set down guidelines calling for sexual health programs that receive federal funding to feature LGBT-inclusive language on a variety of issues, reject gender stereotypes and provide accurate information about HIV.
Sponsored denouncing the Common Core State Standards.
Graham sponsored Resolution against Common Core
Congressional summary:: Strongly denouncing the President's coercion of States into adopting the Common Core State Standards by conferring preferences in Federal grants:
Whereas the development of the Common Core State Standards has transformed into an incentives-based mandate from the Federal Government;
Whereas the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 prohibits the establishment of a national curriculum by the Department of Education;
Whereas President Barack Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced competitive grants through the Race to the Top program to adopt 'internationally benchmarked standards and assessments that prepare students for success in college and the workplace';
Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that--
States and local educational agencies should maintain the right and responsibility of determining educational curricula;
the Federal Government should not incentivize
the adoption of common education standards; and
no application process for any Federal grant funds should provide any preference for the adoption of the Common Core State Standards.
Opponent's argument against (CoreStandards.org): The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. 45 states have adopted the Common Core State Standards [not adopted in TX, NE, AK, MN, and VA]. The nation's governors and education commissioners, through their representative organizations the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) led the development of the Common Core State Standards and continue to lead the initiative. Teachers, parents, school administrators and experts from across the country together with state leaders provided input into the development of the standards.
Source: HRes.476 & SRes.345 14-SR345 on Feb 6, 2014
Supports a Constitutional Amendment for school prayer.
Graham co-sponsored a resolution for a School Prayer Amendment:
H.J.RES.52 (2001), H.J.RES.66 (1999), S.J.RES. 1, H.J.RES.12, H. J. RES. 108, & H. J. RES. 55:
Nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to prohibit individual or group prayer in public schools or other public institutions. No person shall be required by the United States or by any State to participate in prayer . Neither the United States nor any State shall compose the words of any prayer to be said in public schools.
H. J. RES. 78 (1997):
To secure the people's right to acknowledge God according to the dictates of conscience: Neither the United States nor any State shall establish any official religion, but the people's right to pray and to recognize their religious beliefs, heritage, or traditions on public property, including
schools, shall not be infringed. Neither the United States nor any State shall require any person to join in prayer or other religious activity, prescribe school prayers, discriminate against religion, or deny equal access to a benefit on account of religion.
H.J.RES.52, School Prayer Amendment, 6/13/2001 (Murtha)
H.J.RES.12, School Prayer Amendment, 2/7/2001 (Emerson)
S.J.RES.1, School Prayer Amendment, 1/22/2001 (Thurmond)
H.J.RES.108, Voluntary School Prayer Amendment, 9/21/2000 (Graham)
H.J.RES.55, Voluntary School Prayer Amendment, 2/13/1997 (Stearnes, Hall, Watts)
H.J.RES.78, Amendment Restoring Religious Freedom, 5/8/1997 (Istook, et. al.)