Two senators/presidential candidates weren’t fooled by the majority opinion that the ESSA (S1177 Every Student Succeeds Act) returns educational decisions to local school districts and the states. Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul voted NAY for cloture on 12/8/2015. Paul again voted NAY to the bill on 12/9/2015. Senator Jeff Flake flip-flopped, initially voting YEA on Tuesday, and NAY on Wednesday.
Senator Cruz stated: The bill "continues to propagate the large and ever-growing role of the federal government in our education system—the same federal government that sold us failed top-down standards like Common Core."
Senator Paul stated: "While the Senate bill goes a long way to remove federal mandates, it also continues a large federal intrusion into education, therefore I will oppose it."
Senator John McCain voted YEA both days. Maybe it was because he finally, after 10 years of trying, got his special wish.
Buried within 1,061 pages of the S1177 Every Student Succeeds Act, on pages 914-918, you will see “SEC. 9206. POSTHUMOUS PARDON.” This posthumous pardon is for heavy weight boxing champion Jack Johnson. McCain has lobbied for this pardon multiple times for at least 10 years.
In 2005, he joined Teamster President Jimmy Hoffa and others in calling for Pres. Bush to posthumously pardon Jack Johnson. Bush refused.
He tried again in 2009, asking Pres. Obama to pardon Johnson. Obama refused.
In 2014, McCain was joined by Senator Harry Reid in a letter to Pres. Obama asking for the pardon. No dice.
He tried again in February 2015. Obama yawned.
Finally, he saw his opportunity and tucked it into the ESSA! President Obama signed S1177 into law on December 10, 2015, and with it he granted McCain’s urgent desire for the posthumous pardon for heavyweight boxing champ Jack Johnson. This has nothing to do with K-12 Education, or what the American people want. It has everything to do with John McCain, and what he wants.
S1177, the “Every Student Succeeds Act” (ESSA) full text released to public on 11/30/2015. A whopping 1,061 pages of federal regulation and programs. Seriously? 1,061 pages to be read and analyzed by all representatives in less than 72 hours, then on to the Senate? How could they possible know exactly what they were voting on? How could parents and the general public possibly have the opportunity to read and digest what changes the federal government wants to make to their child’s education?