(House of Representatives - February 07, 2017)

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[Pages H1041-H1046]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  Mr. GUTHRIE. Mr. Speaker, pursuant to House Resolution 91, I call up 
the joint resolution (H.J. Res. 58) providing for congressional 
disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule 
submitted by the Department of Education relating to teacher 
preparation issues, and ask for its immediate consideration in the 
  The Clerk read the title of the joint resolution.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 91, the joint 
resolution is considered read.
  The text of the joint resolution is as follows:

                              H.J. Res. 58

       Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
     United States of America in Congress assembled, That Congress 
     disapproves the rule submitted by the Department of Education 
     relating to teacher preparation issues (published at 81 Fed. 
     Reg. 75494 (October 31, 2016)), and such rule shall have no 
     force or effect.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Guthrie) 
and the gentlewoman from California (Mrs. Davis) each will control 30 
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Kentucky.

                             General Leave

  Mr. GUTHRIE. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members 
may have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks 
and include extraneous material on H.J. Res. 58.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Kentucky?

[[Page H1042]]

  There was no objection.
  Mr. GUTHRIE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H.J. Res. 58. The 
purpose of the resolution under consideration is simple: reining in the 
Federal role in education and protecting State and local control 
promised to students, parents, and education leaders.
  Under the Higher Education Act, teacher preparation programs are 
required to provide certain information to State leaders to help 
determine the effectiveness of those programs. The State then submits 
an annual report card to the Department of Education that highlights 
the quality of their teacher preparation programs. Additionally, the 
Higher Education Act provides TEACH Grants to high-achieving students 
who commit to teaching math, science, reading, or a foreign language at 
high-needs schools. To ensure taxpayer dollars are being used 
responsibly, the law requires that grant recipients attend an 
institution that provides high-quality teacher preparation and 
professional development services.
  In 2012, the Obama administration began a rulemaking process to 
develop Federal criteria for State teacher preparation report cards. 
For the first time, and without congressional authorization, the rule 
that came out of that process tied eligibility for TEACH Grants to the 
State's teacher preparation report card. That flawed and controversial 
rule is the reason we are here today.
  We all agree that accountability is important, particularly when it 
comes to ensuring our students receive the high-quality education they 
deserve. However, it is also important that State and local leaders 
have the flexibility they need to make decisions that affect the 
schools and programs in their local communities.
  Teacher preparation should be addressed through reauthorization of 
the Higher Education Act, not unilaterally by executive fiat. That is 
exactly what the Obama administration did by forcing its one-size-fits-
all approach to education on teacher preparation programs. The rule 
requires States to track new teachers across three performance levels: 
student learning outcomes, employment outcomes, and employer surveys. 
In doing so, it essentially creates a Federal mandate for teacher 
evaluations that Congress explicitly rejected with the Every Student 
Succeeds Act. The regulation assumes the Federal Government knows 
better than local education leaders when it comes to what makes an 
effective teacher. And to make matters worse, it will also result in 
fewer teachers opting to teach students in low-income neighborhoods and 
  Teachers play an important role in helping students learn and succeed 
both in and out of the classroom. Unfortunately, as it did so often, 
the Obama administration overreached and took a flawed approach to 
preparing teachers to meet the needs of their students. The teacher 
preparation rule blatantly ignores the principles guiding recent 
bipartisan education reforms and will make it more difficult for State 
and local leaders to help ensure teachers are ready to succeed.
  The resolution under consideration, H.J. Res. 58, will block the 
implementation of this misguided policy and protect State and local 
control over decisions affecting their teachers and students. The 
Federal Government has played too large a role in education for far too 
long. I urge my colleagues to vote in support of this resolution and 
help rein in the Federal Government's role in education.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mrs. DAVIS of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  I rise today in strong opposition to H.J. Res. 58, which would 
dismantle key protections of teacher preparation programs. 
Unfortunately, this joint resolution is part of a much larger effort by 
my colleagues to remove crucial safeguards from the education sector 
and move us backwards.
  In my time on the San Diego School Board, the California legislature, 
and the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, I found one 
thing to be a constant: studies find time and time again that a quality 
teacher makes the most important impact on a child's success in school.
  So I am finding it difficult to understand why anyone would support 
this joint resolution that decreases the quality of the very programs 
responsible for training our teachers.
  H.J. Res. 58 undoes years of hard work on both sides of the aisle to 
develop vital safeguards that ensure transparency and quality in 
teacher preparation programs. This provision plays a significant role 
in ensuring that teaching programs across the country work with 
educators to develop curriculum that trains teachers most effectively. 
Beyond this specific protection, it is important to keep in mind the 
damage that Congressional Review Acts can do to key safeguards on the 
  H.J. Res. 58 takes away the possibility of the Department of 
Education coming back to rethink these protections and takes a sword to 
the language where a scalpel should be used.
  I know that many of my colleagues have concerns about the burdens 
that these protections have on our schools. Rightly so. But it is 
important to remember that, behind many of these safeguards, there is a 
student whose future is at stake.
  I have heard countless stories from students in my district who have 
been defrauded by schools that they trusted with their time and their 
money. I think it is important to remind my colleagues across the aisle 
that those are the people who we have been elected to serve, students 
who seek higher education as a means to a brighter future and often 
find themselves no better off at the end of years of hard work.

  So if my Republican colleagues want to discuss changes to the teacher 
preparation program provisions when we hopefully reauthorize the Higher 
Education Act this Congress, I am certainly open to having that 
discussion. If they want to get creative about increasing the quality 
and the efficiency of our schools, I will be the first person to sit 
down and have those discussions.
  But if they want to deregulate just for the sake of deregulation, 
well, I have to stand up for our students. If they want to, as Jerry 
Falwell recently implied, undo vital components of title 9 safeguards 
against sexual assault on our campuses, I am hopeful that my colleagues 
from both sides of the aisle will refuse.
  Mr. Speaker, we were elected to this House to protect all of our 
constituents, including the most vulnerable members of our society. 
Nowhere is that more critical than where it pertains to the young 
people who are the most important investments that we can make as a 
  For every student who is defrauded by a school, not given an 
opportunity because of their socioeconomic background, or drowning in 
debt, we are holding back one more person who could be contributing to 
our economy and to our society. We are giving one more person the wrong 
start in their adult lives, and the impact of that debt often affects 
their parents, their spouses, and children for years.
  I hope that my colleagues realize that it is in our best interest to 
protect students and not corporations. That it is in our best interest 
to safeguard equity and accessibility in our schools, and not for-
profit schools who donate millions to encourage deregulation.
  I am hopeful that instead of taking an ax to the many protections 
that we developed for our students, my colleagues will join me in 
discussing the most responsible way, the best way that we can increase 
quality and efficiency in our schools.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. GUTHRIE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Tennessee (Mr. Roe.)
  Mr. ROE of Tennessee. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.J. 
Res. 58, which nullifies the teacher preparation issues rule finalized 
by the Department of Education in October of 2016.
  Mr. Speaker, it is an unfortunate situation that we find ourselves in 
when I consistently hear from educators that they are spending more and 
more time trying to comply with misguided rules from the Federal 
Government instead of teaching our children and grandchildren.
  The Department of Education and the Obama administration have acted 
as if they know what type of teacher is best for east Tennessee instead 
of the

[[Page H1043]]

people living and working there every day. I want nothing more than to 
have the best teachers in our classrooms teaching children all across 
this country, but burdensome one-size-fits-all regulations from the 
Federal Government that emphasize bureaucracy and compliance instead of 
a student education is not the way to get there.

                              {time}  1500

  The teacher preparation regulations put forth by the Obama 
administration are yet another example of misguided Federal overreach 
that would burden schools, institutions of higher education, and 
States. These regulations are unfunded and would impose extensive data 
collection requirements on States, colleges, and universities. And one 
university, Mr. Speaker, in my State spends $150 million a year 
complying with government regulations.
  Under these regulations, institutions of higher education that do not 
meet the rules requirements could lose access to Federal financial aid, 
which is yet another example of the prior administration using the 
regulatory process to bypass the legislative process. Both the School 
Superintendents Association and the National Governors Association have 
highlighted how these regulations are a significant intrusion on the 
role States play in ensuring accountability for teacher preparation. 
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education has 
indicated that these regulations are likely to exacerbate teacher 
shortages in areas where they are critically needed, like special 
  When Congress passed on a bipartisan basis Every Student Succeeds 
Act, we expected the Obama administration would work to continue the 
momentum for giving States and local school districts the flexibility 
they needed to help kids learn. The administration went in the opposite 
direction, which is why I encourage my colleagues to support this 
  Mrs. DAVIS of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the 
gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Danny K. Davis).
  Mr. DANNY K. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the 
gentlewoman from California (Mrs. Davis) for yielding.
  I rise in strong opposition to H.J. Res. 57 and 58 that undermine 
equity in public education.
  Until I moved to Chicago when I was 19, I attended segregated schools 
because our States failed to follow Federal laws and the Federal 
Government demonstrated weak enforcement. The Civil Rights Act and the 
Elementary and Secondary Education Act advanced equal educational 
opportunity for African-American students and other students who faced 
discrimination and barriers in education, making this country stronger 
and better.
  During Black History Month, the GOP will advance a bill to undermine 
the educational civil rights of African-American students. The scope of 
this joint resolution of disapproval clearly reflects the 
discrimination and the intent. It doesn't target a narrow regulation. 
It encompasses each of the critical civil rights elements of ESSA--data 
collection and reporting to ensure transparency about whether schools 
are educating vulnerable students comparably to other students, and 
accountability to ensure that schools take action to improve and 
receive support in meeting the needs of all students. To do so leaves 
States confused and Federal protections for disadvantaged students 
  H.J. Res. 57 is an extreme, calculated effort to promote 
discrimination, removing any transparency and accountability related to 
educational civil rights.
  African-American students do not yet have equal educational 
opportunity. Black students are suspended and expelled three times the 
rate that their White peers are, only about two-thirds of Black 
students graduate high school on time compared to 86 percent of White 
students, and one in three Black men who start as a full-time student 
at a university graduate with a bachelor's degree within 6 years.
  Students with disabilities, English language learners, low-income 
students, Latino students, and Native-American students also do not yet 
enjoy equal educational opportunity. This resolution will erase this 
data and allow schools that continue these disparities to continue 
performing poorly in perpetuity.
  Out of respect for our country's history of educational 
discrimination against vulnerable students, out of respect for Black 
History Month, and out of respect for the American value of equal 
opportunity, I ask my colleagues to reject this discriminatory 
  Mr. GUTHRIE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Michigan (Mr. Mitchell), my friend.
  Mr. MITCHELL. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. 
Guthrie) for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.J. Res. 58. I am pleased to join 
Congressman Guthrie as a cosponsor.
  As a parent, I know the critical difference teachers can make in a 
student's life. That is why many young people choose the path of 
education as their career and their mission.
  This rule creates an arbitrary tie between teacher preparation 
programs and student test scores. What is worse, this rule unfairly 
discriminates against teachers who commit to teaching STEM subjects or 
different languages--critical subjects already facing a teacher 
shortage and occupations desperately seeking skilled employees.
  In Michigan--my home State--teacher training program enrollment 
declined 38 percent between 2008 and 2013. The number of people who 
actually pursue teaching after going through a prep curriculum declined 
by 26 percent. We face a teacher shortage in Michigan and nationwide.
  I frequently hear from the people I serve, teachers and parents in my 
district, that they are disheartened and frustrated by the Federal 
Government's overreach and arrogance that turns educating young people 
into a test score.
  Mr. Speaker, let's return authority where it belongs with teachers 
and, more importantly, parents.
  Mrs. DAVIS of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the 
gentleman from New York (Mr. Espaillat).
  Mr. ESPAILLAT. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong opposition to H.J. Res. 58, which 
would gut States' teacher preparedness programs.
  This rollback is just one of many attempts by Republicans to 
dismantle the Department of Education by stripping its oversight and 
enforcement authority. The Trump administration has already made it 
clear its lack of regard for public education by picking an unqualified 
nominee to head the Department, and congressional Republicans are 
falling right in line by attempting to remove important rules to 
improve teacher preparedness.
  This rule came into place as part of the bipartisan reauthorization 
of the Higher Education Act. The reauthorization brought consensus 
measures to improve teacher training. But given the opportunity, 
Republicans are willing to forego public education all together by 
using the CRA to prevent the Department from overseeing State-led 
initiatives. And there is the crux of it. These initiatives are State-
led and allow great levels of flexibility, provisions that Republicans 
championed during reauthorization. Now, they want to take advantage of 
an obscure congressional provision, used only once in our history prior 
to this Congress. This will tie the hands of future administrations 
from improving the transparency and quality of teacher preparedness 
  If Republicans are happy with the rule and want to change it to 
improve the quality of education, this administration should use 
existing administrative tools to amend and revise the regulation. But 
that is not what this is about. This is about dismantling our public 
education system. Congressional Republicans want blanket deregulation 
of Federal education programs in order to allow States to ignore laws 
intended to protect disadvantaged students.
  I invite my Republican colleagues to bring forth a plan that improves 
rules protecting our students, not to dismantle them. But this is 
simply not the way. I implore my colleagues to abandon this backdoor 
workaround and to work in a bipartisan fashion, like we did when 
Congress reauthorized the HEA, to develop ways in which we can improve 
public education for all of our children.
  Mr. GUTHRIE. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

[[Page H1044]]


  Mrs. DAVIS of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the 
gentlewoman from Oregon (Ms. Bonamici).
  Ms. BONAMICI. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.J. Res. 58, 
which would undermine the requirement that States assess the quality of 
their teacher preparation programs and weaken efforts to provide 
educators with high-quality teacher preparation programs.
  There is no doubt that our country needs highly skilled and diverse 
educators, and that means attracting good people by providing them with 
high-quality preparation and ongoing support, especially early in their 
careers. Many teacher preparation programs are meeting this charge--
recruiting diverse candidates, offering rigorous practicums, and 
providing supports that follow them into their classrooms.
  But some programs are still preparing large cohorts of educators for 
fields that are not in demand. And, according to one survey, more than 
60 percent of teachers still enter the classroom feeling unprepared for 
one of the toughest, most important jobs in America.
  Many of us readily agree that the regulations governing transparency 
and program quality for teacher preparation are not perfect. But, let's 
remember that this resolution would effectively demolish key provisions 
at the Higher Education Act, which was last reauthorized in 2008, and 
in which Members from both sides of the aisle agreed that States needed 
to provide better data on the quality of their teacher preparation 
  If the rules for improving teacher preparation programs are 
unnecessary, as my friends across the aisle may contend, I would ask 
them to explain why critical sections of the Higher Education Act 
remain largely unimplemented, nearly a decade after Members of Congress 
wrote the requirements into law. Without regulations, provisions of the 
2008 reauthorization will continue to go unfilled. Taxpayer-funded 
grants will continue to support ineffective programs for teachers in 
high-needs schools.
  The truth is, Democrats and Republicans could probably reach 
consensus about how we might like to see these regulations amended and 
improved. I am sure we all support robust data on how new teachers are 
performing and being supported in the classroom. And I am sure we all 
support States and institutions using data to continually strengthen 
their preparation programs.
  But, unfortunately, my Republican colleagues appear unwilling to have 
that conversation about how to give teacher preparation programs the 
tools they need to improve. Instead, they have offered this resolution 
that would essentially guarantee that important provisions in law are 
never fully implemented by this administration, or a future 
administration, because this resolution is under the Congressional 
Review Act, which, until recently, has been used successfully only 
once. It is a blunt instrument that actually bans Federal agencies 
from providing similar protections in the future.

  So instead of fixing the teacher preparation regulations and 
upholding congressional intent in the Higher Education Act, supporters 
of this resolution are turning their backs on the law. The resolution 
is an overreaction. It appears to be part of a dangerous agenda to do 
permanent damage to the Department of Education's important oversight 
and enforcement responsibilities.
  I urge my colleagues to oppose this and work together on amending the 
  Mr. GUTHRIE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 2 minutes.
  I need to explain what we are doing here. We are not changing the 
report card that schools have that teacher preparation programs have to 
  This rule says that if a school doesn't score well on its report card 
then students in that program can't get TEACH grants, which tries to 
focus on getting teachers from teacher programs into challenging 
schools. So what happens is, if you are an outstanding student and you 
are trapped in a school, let's say, because where you can afford to go 
is not performing well, then based on your school not performing well, 
not on the merit of that future teacher, they are not allowed to get a 
TEACH grant. That is what we are trying to prevent here.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mrs. DAVIS of California. Mr. Speaker, I just want to comment because 
I was a little confused by what the gentleman said. I believe that we 
want to be sure that teachers who get TEACH grants are doing that at 
schools that have shown the capacity and the ability to really help 
children achieve. And so that is why we want to direct them into those 
schools particularly.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield as much time as he may consume to the gentleman 
from Connecticut (Mr. Courtney).
  Mr. COURTNEY. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this measure. And 
I do so as someone who, in 2008, actually was a member of the 
conference committee when we passed the reauthorization of the Higher 
Education Act. Unfortunately, that is the last time Congress has moved 
forward, and we are about 3 or 4 years overdue in terms of modernizing 
and updating that law.
  But I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, having been to the meetings--and we 
actually met as conferees and we had votes and we had discussion, 
unlike a lot of the short-circuited processes that unfortunately 
dominates most of our business these days--it was a healthy process.

                              {time}  1515

  This issue of teacher preparation in setting up standards was totally 
noncontroversial. There were a couple of items on which the two sides 
actually debated, but this one was a no-brainer. It just makes perfect 
sense that we want to make sure that there is at least a minimum 
standard out there to make sure that kids are getting the opportunities 
they need, particularly with the changing demands and needs of the 
  What also just sort of astonishes me is the manner in which this 
regulation was issued, which was only last October. The ink is, really, 
barely dry on it. We have a new incoming administration with a new 
Secretary, whom I will talk about in a second, and they have more than 
ample opportunity to go back into the regulations process and amend it, 
make changes, if they so choose. Instead, rather than using a scalpel, 
we are using a chain saw to basically carve out, in essence, a section 
of the law because the ability of the Department's to go back and do a 
similar regulation is not allowed under the Congressional Review Act.
  This is a measure which, as I said, was just totally 
noncontroversial, on which we had a very strong vote, by the way, in 
terms of the final result of the conference that took place back in 
2008, and the process that is being used is just tremendous overkill.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mrs. DAVIS of California. I yield the gentleman such time as he may 
  Mr. COURTNEY. Mr. Speaker, frankly, I think, as we stand here today 
in the Chamber--and just an hour or so ago, we had a Secretary who was 
confirmed in an unprecedented procedure during which the Vice President 
had to come in and break the tie--it, unfortunately, has the look of, 
really, being part of a pattern that we are seeing emerge here with the 
confirmation hearing process during which the incoming Secretary showed 
almost no regard for the notion of accountability in terms of charter 
schools and voucher programs, which, for the taxpayer and for the kids 
and the parents who really depend on our education system, is just a 
totally unacceptable approach.
  As I said, this CRA bill on the teacher preparation program is just 
part of the same cloth. It is saying that we are just going to carve 
out a section which was a totally bipartisan, commonsense provision 
back in 2008 and that we are going to handcuff the ability of the 
Department to even come in with a substitute. The chances of Congress, 
at this point, coming in with new legislation--I mean, I am the eternal 
optimist. Hopefully, that will happen, but it sure hasn't happened over 
the last 3 or 4 years since the HEA, Higher Education Act, expired.
  This is really, I think, a very unfortunate effort that is being put 
forth here on the floor. As I said, given what is going on with the 
Department and the vote that took place here earlier today, for those 
who really care about making sure that our free public education 
system, which has been, basically, part of America since Abraham 
Lincoln first proposed it back in the

[[Page H1045]]

middle of the Civil War, we need to be totally on guard--on standby--to 
make sure that the taxpayer is protected in terms of making sure these 
grant programs go to school districts and systems that are actually 
following through with programs of value and to make sure that we 
protect the pillars of public education. Anyone watching that 
confirmation process over in the Senate, I think, was extremely worried 
and alarmed, which is why, I think, we had this avalanche of emails and 
calls that came in all across the country during that process.
  I strongly urge a ``no'' vote for all of the reasons I have stated.
  Mr. GUTHRIE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
North Carolina (Mr. Budd).
  Mr. BUDD. I thank the chairman.
  Mr. Speaker, H.J. Res. 57, which we will be voting on today and 
discussing and debating in a few moments, would overturn an 
administration rule on school accountability standards that were 
finalized back in November.
  Congress passed a law last year with the intent of giving power back 
to States and to local communities, but unelected bureaucrats at the 
Department of Education finalized this rule last year which, 
ultimately, could force Common Core standards on States that don't 
  We see this time and time again. Congress will create a law, and then 
an agency that is filled with unelected officials disregards the will 
of the people by writing regulations as it sees fit. Every American, in 
putting aside one's personal ideology, can agree that an important 
issue like how we educate our kids is not something that we should 
decide here in Washington. In the months and the years to come, we 
should welcome a continued debate about whether the fate of a child's 
education should be decided in Washington or if a child's education 
should be more personalized at the State and the community levels. In 
my view, dictating specific accountability requirements from Washington 
and punishing those who don't meet those standards is a losing 
  It is my hope that every kid in my district, in North Carolina, and 
around the country has a quality education. I think that is the hope of 
my colleagues, too. The more we think that Washington has all of the 
answers, the further we get away from our founding vision of a limited 
Federal role in our lives, especially in something as personal as 
  It will be debated in a few moments, but I do urge a ``yes'' vote on 
H.J. Res. 57.
  Mrs. DAVIS of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  We are actually talking about two of these joint resolutions, both 
H.J. Res. 57 and H.J. Res. 58, and are looking at accountability 
measures. Sometimes I think people forget, actually, that the first 
time that Common Core was mentioned in Federal law was in ESSA, the 
most recently reauthorized legislation for elementary and secondary 
education. That was done because we agreed to do that, because we felt 
that it was important to call it out while, at the same time, being 
careful to look at our local and our State authorities and have them 
come together and make the decisions that they think are best for their 
students. That has been the tradition, and that is why it is important 
that we have those folks in place in our local school districts.

  As a former school board member, I know that those are where the real 
decisions are made for kids, but we need to see in which area and why 
we have a Federal role. I think, even at the hearing that we had in the 
Education and the Workforce Committee today, the Republicans' witnesses 
acknowledged that there is an importance of a Federal role. It is in 
accountability and responsibility and in acknowledging that sometimes 
it is important to give direction to States and to give direction to 
local school districts as well.
  That is really what we are trying to do here. We are trying to do it 
in a smart way, and we are trying to do it in a way so that we can 
realize, in the future, there may be changes that need to be made and 
that those changes may require Congresses of the future to look at 
particular protections and see if they are redundant, if they are 
necessary, or if, maybe, they take us in the wrong direction. What we 
are talking about today gives us no hope that we will be able to do 
that. We are basically writing in stone that we will never have to go 
back--that we can't go back--and look at some of those protections. 
That is the wrong thing to do.
  We all know that, with one protection or another, of course, there 
can be problems. We don't want to ignore that, but we want to be sure 
that, particularly when we are looking at teacher prep programs, for 
example, we are looking at the data that is coming together that 
suggests whether some programs are more beneficial for the achievement 
of young people in our schools than others.
  Boy, I sure hope as a school board member that we have the 
information that is available to people, because we can get that at a 
national level that we can't necessarily all get at the State level. It 
is important to know what processes are in place. Some of these 
protections that the Federal Government has created are giving 
direction to that. They are saying here are ways to look at your 
program and decide whether, in fact, they are doing exactly what you 
think they should be doing.
  The most important part is that we are getting feedback from our 
teachers. This is a process that is so critical, that of having people 
who are on the ground who know what they are talking about. We are 
responsive to that, and those were some of the processes that we used 
in the Department of Education as well. I am not going to tell you that 
each one is perfect. I just want us to have a way to look at them and 
to understand how they impact our teachers. I want all teachers who 
want to succeed with kids, who are not in teaching for financial 
reimbursement, to be there because they really believe in kids and 
because they believe in their ability to succeed, and they want to be 
sure that they have the tools, that they have the resources, to do 
that. Many of the protections that we are talking about provide that 
kind of help and assistance.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. 
Scott), the ranking member of the Committee on Education and the 
  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. I thank the gentlewoman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.J. Res. 58, the joint 
resolution of disapproval of the rule submitted by the Department of 
Education relating to teacher preparation programs.
  This resolution would not only block the rule in question, but 
according to the rules of the CRA, it would tie the hands of this and 
of any future administration from re-regulating the provisions until a 
successful reauthorization of the Higher Education Act might take 
  Mr. Speaker, this rule in question provides clarity to States on how 
to increase teacher preparation program quality, transparency, and the 
equitable distribution of well-prepared teachers. It was promulgated to 
enable compliance with the statutory provision included in the 2008 
reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.
  According to a study by the Education Schools Project, more than 60 
percent of new teachers feel unprepared to enter the classroom. We also 
know that disadvantaged students are taught disproportionately by new, 
inexperienced, and underprepared teachers. Congress sought to address 
this in the HEA reauthorization through the inclusion of requirements 
that are clarified by this regulation. Congress clearly intended for 
these equity-focused provisions to be meaningfully implemented; 
however, absent Federal regulation, the bipartisan intent of Congress 
has gone unfulfilled.
  Despite statements made by many on the other side of the aisle, the 
Department of Education did engage in extensive consultation with 
stakeholders and the public in drafting and then in finalizing this 
rule. The draft rule put forward in 2014 lacked the appropriate 
flexibility and was met with overwhelming resistance. Through an 
extended comment period, the Department worked for more than 2 years to 
revise the rule and produce a final rule with considerably more 
flexibility for States and institutions.

  Regardless of how flexible the rule is or not, I believe that, upon 
careful review of the regulation and the statutory provisions, the 
final rule is clearly within the scope of the agency's regulatory 
authority. Whether one thinks

[[Page H1046]]

the rule is perfect or flawed, the substance of the final rule is 
reasonable and is clarifying an interpretation of how to comply with 
statutory requirements.
  It is now 2017. Federal requirements to improve teacher preparation 
program quality and transparency have gone largely unfulfilled since 
the 2008 reauthorization. In such an instance, it is well within the 
purview of the implementing agency to regulate and more clearly 
interpret statutory requirements to prompt meaningful compliance and 
inform Congress and the agency in subsequent reauthorizations.
  The executive overreach or illegality of a rule and the disagreement 
with the substance of the rule are not two sides of the same coin. 
Republicans now control the executive branch. President Trump has 
administrative tools at his disposal to revise or to completely rewrite 
this regulation. It is clear, based on the history of the 
implementation of these provisions, that regulatory clarity is 
necessary. The responsible approach would be to utilize those tools to 
improve the regulation.
  In the history of the Congressional Review Act, Congress has only 
used it once to disapprove a regulation. Instead of engaging in the 
hard work of governing by revising the teacher preparation rule, my 
colleagues have resorted to this act of repealing yet another rule that 
is meant to support our Nation's families and children. It is 
unnecessary, and we must recommit to doing the right thing for those 
whom we serve.
  I urge my colleagues to reject this resolution.

                              {time}  1530

  Mr. GUTHRIE. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mrs. DAVIS of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of 
my time to close.
  I think this has been a good discussion, and I think that the hearing 
that we had today was even an opening as well at looking at this issue.
  I think no matter what side of the aisle one was on, you couldn't 
necessarily distinguish the witnesses because it was important that we 
say that there is a smart way to do this and, frankly, there is kind of 
a stupid way to do it. Because we want to be sure that the consequences 
of our actions are not ones that would be impacting our children down 
the road.
  So we have to go about this in a measured way, in a smart way. I 
actually believe that we all have the capacity to do that. There is no 
question in my mind that we can't do that in a way that really asks the 
right questions: Why are those protections there? Why did they 
establish those regulations and protections?
  So that we can track and understand what is behind them.
  I really do remember that, as a school board member, now and then, 
there was some frustration over something within the special education 
arena. But when you went back and you looked at why that came about, it 
was because there was a child who represented a problem in the system 
because we didn't do the right thing. We realized that it wasn't just 
that child, but it was many children who could be affected in the same 
  That is what we have to look at: Why are they there? How can we 
change them? How can we be smart about it and make sure that we don't 
do something that, in the end, will harm our education system and even 
impact those children who really are the most vulnerable that we would 
not want to impact under any circumstances?
  So, Mr. Speaker, let's work together on this. Unfortunately, what 
this does today is it takes away that ability to use, I think, the 
goodwill of our committee to do the right thing. I hope that my 
colleagues will agree with that.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. GUTHRIE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Republicans and Democrats on both sides of the aisle have worked hard 
in recent years, particularly in the ESSA that we passed to make sure 
that we have local control of education, the idea that reforms that 
State and education local leaders know best. I think the same is true 
for teachers.
  It is vitally important that we have teachers that are prepared to 
succeed. We want the best and brightest in the classroom that help 
ensure our students receive the quality education they deserve.
  This resolution will put an end to this rule that will have negative 
consequences, I believe, for teachers and students; but it will allow 
us to address teacher preparation responsibly. Article I of the 
Constitution gives the legislative powers to Congress. So we don't just 
need to say: There's a new administration in town, let them fix it.
  What we need to say is that it is Congress' job, through working 
together, to pass the law and reauthorize higher education that will 
ensure that we have quality teachers in the classroom teaching our 
  So I urge my colleagues to put a stop to this rule and vote ``yes'' 
on H.J. Res. 58.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. All time for debate has expired.
  Pursuant to House Resolution 91, the previous question is ordered on 
the joint resolution.
  The question is on the engrossment and third reading of the joint 
  The joint resolution was ordered to be engrossed and read a third 
time, and was read the third time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on passage of the joint 
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the ayes appeared to have it.
  Ms. DAVIS of California. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and 
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, further 
proceedings on this question will be postponed.