Education Week - August 31, 2016 - 17
Among the House of
U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx,
R-N.C., co-chaired the
platform committee at
its recent convention.
But the department's 2016 proposals in negotiated rulemaking say
The 2015 guidance, in its general
language, does refer to the "equitable
distribution" of state and local resources that should take place. But
does that mean equal spending outcomes among schools, or that one equitable method of distributing money
must be used for all schools?
And remember: The formulas
highlighted above are just two examples the department laid out in 2015
of equitable distribution of state and
The guidance does caution that federal Title I funds can't be considered
supplemental if they are used as "part
of the basic level of education funding." In other words, if schools rely on
federal dollars to provide a basic education program, they're not following
In early negotiations over ESSA
regulations this spring, the department proposed requiring districts
to show they were providing a basic
education program with state and
local dollars. But after objections, it
dropped that language.
It remains to be seen exactly how
the draft regulations will address,
or fail to address, those and other
publican, also cheered the O'Connor
ruling. Kentucky is one of the state
plaintiffs that had joined Texas in its
"It is difﬁcult to imagine a more
absurd federal overreach into a
local issue," Bevin said in a statement. "The president is not promoting unity. In fact, he is doing
quite the opposite. He is intentionally dividing America by threatening to sue or withhold funding from
our cash-strapped public schools if
they do not agree with his personal
opinion on policies that remain
squarely in their jurisdiction. They
should not feel compelled to bow to
Several civil rights organizations
that advocate on behalf of transgender students, including the American
Civil Liberties Union and Lambda
Legal, called the ruling misguided
and said it does not eliminate the requirement that school districts "treat
transgender students fairly."
"A ruling by a single judge in one
circuit cannot and does not undo
the years of clear legal precedent
nationwide establishing that transgender students have the right to go
to school without being singled out
for discrimination," the groups said
in a joint statement. "The court's
misguided decision targets a small,
vulnerable group of young people-
transgender elementary and high
school students-for potential continued harassment, stigma, and abuse."
Contributing Writer Mark Walsh
provided information for this article.
Talking K-12 With a Force in the House GOP
It's been a busy summer for U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx, a
North Carolina Republican and member of the House
education committee. That's in large part because Foxx,
who was ﬁrst elected to the House of Representatives
in 2004 and chairs the higher education subcommittee,
was co-chairwoman of the
party's platform committee
at the GOP convention last
Foxx, who is
consistently rated as one
With U.S. REP. VIRGINA FOXX,
of the most conservative
a North Carolina Republican
members of the House, is
and member of the House
also frequently mentioned
as a possible successor to
Rep. John Kline, R-Minn.,
the current chairman of his chamber's education
committee. She supported the Every Student
Succeeds Act when it passed last year, but has been
critical of ESSA regulatory proposals from the U.S.
Department of Education.
Education Week recently interviewed Foxx by
phone during the congressional recess to get her
thoughts on ESSA, on Republican presidential
nominee Donald Trump, and on a range of education
issues. The question-and-answer piece has been
edited for length and clarity.
Right now, you're back in your district during the
congressional recess, so what do you hear the most when
you've talked to local school leaders?
A lot of the regulations coming out of the Obama administration
are of great concern to the leaders of the schools. The cost of health
care keeps rising and rising and rising, and [their ability] to meet
their budgets and pay for that. ... Most people thank me for ESSA.
They're very pleased that we're de-emphasizing testing and that
we're doing everything we can to push decisionmaking down to
the local level, which is the way it should be.
What potential obstacles for that do they see?
What they are most concerned about, again, is the fact that the
[Education Department] continues to come up with ways to maintain
control when Congress has clearly stated that that's not the intent [of
I'm quite aware of the feelings these people have. You
often get conﬂicting rules, conﬂicting interpretations, and
commentary from the folks who are supposed to be telling you
what the rules are that don't quite jibe all of the time.
When you think about the education part of the GOP
platform, what are the notable changes or additions
from the 2012 platform?
I don't think [the Common Core State Standards] had
a prominent place in the platform in 2012. Always with
Republicans, you're going to see the platform say: We don't
need a federal Department of Education, that we should be
letting locals again make the decisions. Teachers, principals,
local school board members should be making the decisions
as to how to run local schools.
We, I think, emphasized a little bit more the issue of lack
of success, despite the fact that we've spent a huge amount of
money, hardworking-taxpayer money, at the federal level. And
we've really basically seen no change.
How comfortable or conﬁdent would you be working with a
President Donald Trump on issues like school choice? Do
you think he would have, or wants to have, a major impact
on education policy?
I do. One of the good things is that he will want the Congress
to work with him and formulate the policies that will work for
the country. I think that will be a very, very positive thing.
I don't think he's going to come in day one and try to dictate
to the Congress what should be done. I think it'll be the other
way around. And that's a very healthy thing. ... He has stated
that he wants to restore the traditional division of authority.
And I think that's the ﬁrst step.
What's your reaction when you get mentioned, as you do,
as a possible successor to John Kline as the leader of
the House education committee?
I'm focused on getting us through this year. I have the absolute,
utmost respect for Chairman Kline. ... I'm not going to deal with
the chairmanship now. It's just too early to talk about it.
When you look at Hillary Clinton's proposals for
education, whether it's expanding early-childhood
programs or increasing the affordability of higher
education, do you see those getting traction?
No. She has primarily adopted [Vermont Sen.] Bernie Sanders'
positions on that. And I don't think those are viable positions. So
if we maintain our majorities in the House and Senate, even if
she's elected president, I think you'll see quite a different kind of
legislation than what she might propose.
What's foremost in your mind about the proposed ESSA
All of us on the committee on both sides of the aisle-and
frankly, I wish our colleagues on the other side of the aisle were
more concerned about it-is that we don't allow the Department
of Education to overstep its bounds. It tends, I think, to put in the
reforms it wants to put in and not respect the letter and intent of
the law that we passed.
Is it as bad as I thought it would be? You know, I'm an
optimist. ... But I'm telling you, you get a bunch of bureaucrats
together, and there seems to be no end to their ideas for gaining
What would be your priorities on the education committee
heading into the next Congress and presidential
administration? You have a career and technical education
bill that passed out of committee-would that be something
you'd be focused on, or other things?
We're hoping to get that passed by the Senate. I know they
have a different version. We'd certainly like to see that passed
this fall. There's a lot of interest in getting that passed. And
certainly if it doesn't get passed this fall, it would be high on the
agenda for whomever the next chairman is.
The child-nutrition program is another one. ... We've got
plenty on our plate right now to deal with.
EDUCATION WEEK | August 31, 2016 | www.edweek.org | 17
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - August 31, 2016
Education Week - August 31, 2016
Calls to Halt Charters Stir Friction
Head Start Benefits Underscored
Efforts to Boost Teacher Diversity Seen Falling Short
Digital Directions: 1-to-1 Computing Under Microscope in Maine Schools
News in Brief
Back to School: Taking the Public’s Pulse
U.S. State Department Tackles Gender Gap in Stem Participation
Act Scores Dip as Participation Swells
Are Poor Students More Ready for Kindergarten?
Teacher-Tenure Battles Continue After Vergara
Judge Blocks Guidance on Transgender Rights
Reading the Tea Leaves in Advance of Essa Funding Rules
Q&A: With Christopher Emdin
Q&A: Talking K-12 With a Force in the House Gop
Howard Fuller: The Naacp Has It Wrong
Milton Chen & Jonathan B. Jarvis: 100 Years Old, Our National Parks Are the Best Outdoor Classrooms
Topschooljobs Recruitment Marketplace
David E. Dematthews: The Principal as Community Advocate
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - Digital Directions: 1-to-1 Computing Under Microscope in Maine Schools
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - 2
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - 3
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - News in Brief
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - Report Roundup
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - Back to School: Taking the Public’s Pulse
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - U.S. State Department Tackles Gender Gap in Stem Participation
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - Are Poor Students More Ready for Kindergarten?
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - Teacher-Tenure Battles Continue After Vergara
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - 10
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - 11
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - 12
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - 13
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - 14
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - 15
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - Reading the Tea Leaves in Advance of Essa Funding Rules
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - Q&A: Talking K-12 With a Force in the House Gop
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - Howard Fuller: The Naacp Has It Wrong
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - Milton Chen & Jonathan B. Jarvis: 100 Years Old, Our National Parks Are the Best Outdoor Classrooms
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - 20
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - Letters
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - Topschooljobs Recruitment Marketplace
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - 23
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - David E. Dematthews: The Principal as Community Advocate
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - CT1
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - CT2
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - CT3
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - CT4