This vote was on an amendment by John Shadegg, R-Ariz., that would cut the underlying bill's Innovation and Improvement account by $11 million. The amendment was offered to the bill that funds the Labor, Health and Education departments in fiscal 2008.
Shadegg said his amendment would cut funding for the Advanced Credentialing Program, which was created in 1991 to help the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, a private body, establish teacher credentialing standards. Shadegg said that was an appropriate thing to do, but that now their task is done.
"The [group has] received more than $180 million from the Department of Education since 1991. These Federal funds supported the development and implementation of the certification standards and assessments in 24 different academic fields. That task has now been completed," Shadegg said.
David Obey, D-Wis., said the program goes beyond just establishing credentialing standard; it helps train teachers on these standards, who go back to their districts and pass on their knowledge to their peers.
"This is a program which helps teach trainers to go through rigorous certification processes. They are star teachers. They go back to their school districts, they become lead teachers in their schools, and I hardly think that that is damaging the national interest," Obey said. "It inspires deeper learning. It improves teacher practice. It creates transformative professional development, and it helps these schools to retain teachers."
By a vote of 116-309, the amendment was rejected. Every Democrat present voted against the amendment. Of Republicans present, 116 voted for the amendment and 83 voted against the amendment. The end result is that the bill went forward with funding for the Advanced Credentialing Program intact.