As Election Day draws near, it is important we know where our candidates stand on the important issues. Captain Art Halvorson, who is running for Congress in Pennsylvania’s 9th congressional district, issued this statement on federal education policy:
“I strongly oppose Common Core, and the persistent but misguided notion that the federal government should play the leading role in determining the character of education for our children. Federal education policy not only robs local communities of control over their own school systems, it also has the pernicious effect of foisting a liberal social agenda on our public schools that the majority of American parents oppose.
These programs also demand that children conform to normalized ‘social and emotional standards’, a truly frightening overreach.
“In Congress, I would instead push for an education policy that:
♦ Vastly reduces federal interference in education;
♦ Eliminates Common Core and ESSA, and abandons attempts to replace them;
♦ Champions local control of schools, while supporting teachers, not bureaucrats.
“I was very disappointed when our incumbent congressman, Bill Shuster, voted for both ‘No Child Left Behind’ (NCLB) and the federal policy that replaced it, the ‘Every Student Succeeds Act’ (ESSA). While ESSA did dilute some of the most egregiously harmful aspects of No Child Left Behind, it nonetheless retains nationwide homogenized testing and reaffirms a perpetual federal leadership role in education that rightly belongs with states, counties and local school boards.
“ESSA falls far short of the reforms needed to repair the lasting damage arising from NCLB and Common Core. Not only have these policies eroded local control and complicated the jobs of our best teachers, they involve numerous unfunded or partially funded mandates that lead to ever-higher property taxes in Pennsylvania. School property tax hikes through millage increases and reassessments force at least 10,000 Pennsylvanians from their homes every year.
“Education is first and foremost a parental responsibility, to be exercised in local schools that reflect the needs, values and cultural qualities of their communities. Parents should be afforded maximum choice when deciding where and how to educate their children. There is a place for strong public education, but there is also a place for homeschooling, parochial schools and charter schools.
“Bill Shuster claims to side with school choice and local control, but continues to empower the federal government to meddle with our education system. This is wrong. In congress, I will push for the outright dissolution of the Department of Education, and return control of education to the states and the parents.”
Read more about Art’s position on other important issues of Life, Immigration, Health Care, Foreign Trade, The Second Amendment, Taxation and Spending, and Congressional Term Limits.