Federal Education—A Chronology

Laws That Enacted National Standards for Schools, A National Workforce, and National Health Care


Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act

Subsidized health care payments became available to minors under this Act. They now qualify for Medicaid between ages eleven and twenty. Payments may be provided to students through schools, including transportation to health clinics where family planning services and contraception devices can be included, without parental consent or notification.

Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act
Public law 101-392

Revised Title One for disadvantaged children. Expanded “At Risk” list for students to qualify for Medicaid services, including both physical and mental examinations and treatment. This makes possible school-based clinics to facilitate national health care.


Goals 2000: Educate America Act
Public law 103-227 (March, 1994)

There are eight vague goals included in Goals 2000. The law also established the National Education Goals Panel to set new goals for schools and the National Education Standards and Improvement Council (NESIC) to develop and certify that standards presented by States meet national standards. The new standards are based on bringing about changes in behavior and attitudes. Parent-training centers and school-based social services are provided through federal funding. {NESIC was removed from the Act in 1996, but the basic requirements of Goals 2000 remained intact.)

School-to-Work Opportunities Act (STW)
PL 103-239 (May, 1994)

In the early 1990s, the U.S. Departments of Labor and Education, along with big business, produced a series of reports called SCANS, from the Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills. The report refers to students as human resources to be developed by government and business. STW was based on the SCANS report. The STW law is meant to create a “world-class” workforce development system through our schools. A labor market information system will predict what jobs will be available in the future and students will be trained to fill those jobs.

STW establishes a National Workforce Development Board made up of government officials, labor organizations, and business organizations. One member must be from the National Skill Standards Board (NSSB). The National Board will assess the performance of the workforce development system of the United States, based on the earnings and employment gains and other non-employment-related outcomes of individuals. The National Board is responsible for funding states through federal grants. State councils appointed by the governor will plan for an integrated workforce development system, including the development of a financial and management information system, a quality assurance system, and an integrated labor market information system. The state council also oversees the unified service delivery areas for the purpose of providing community-wide workforce development assistance in one-stop career centers. At the local level, workforce development boards will administer the workforce development assistance. There is a SCANS manual for micro-managing the labor workforce.

Improving America’s Schools Act (IASA)
Public law 103-382 (October, 1994)

Parents and the State are recognized equally as being responsible for raising the children.

IASA gives the state the authority to take over local schools that do not meet the criteria of the Secretary of Education.

IASA also established a rule that in order for schools to receive federal funds, they have to submit a plan that meets national standards, to the satisfaction of the Secretary of Education.


Workforce and Career Development Act of 1996
H.R. 1617

Defeated in the 104th Congress because it was too controversial with groups representing both sides of the issue.

This legislation amended the Wagner-Peyser Act to bypass individual state legislatures and give governors authority to establish plans to implement mandates in this Act.


FY 1997 Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act
Public Law 104-208 (September 30, 1996)

Funding for education and labor was included, along with the defense conference report H.R. 3610 in this omnibus appropriations act because of the opposition to the H.R. 1617 “Careers” legislation.

(Pending in 1998)

H.R. 1385 Employment, Training, and Literacy Enhancement Act of 1997
April 17, 1997 (Passed 343-60)

H.R. 1853 To Amend the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act
July 22, 1997 (Passed 414-12)

Places mandates on states and individuals to perform certain functions in the area of education, an area where congress has no constitutional authority. It forces federal taxpayers to underwrite the wages of students working part-time in the name of cooperative education, another form of corporate welfare. Parental authority is undermined by the government in order to make parents partners in training their children according to government specifications. Opponents argue that congress should eliminate all federal vocational education programs in order to restore authority for those programs to the states, localities, and individual citizens.

Senate version of H.R. 1385 and H.R. 1853:

S. 1186 Workforce Investment Partnership Act of 1997
(Currently referred to the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources)

To consolidate state job training for low-income people, high-school dropouts, and displaced workers.

President Clinton’s top educational priority announced in his State of the Union address was to develop voluntary national tests in reading and math. The Department of Education awarded an unauthorized $13 million contract to the American Institutes for Research (AIR) to oversee a multi-year effort to develop so called voluntary national tests in fourth-grade reading and eighth-grade mathematics. Proponents say the tests are likely to mask the lowering of academic standards.

S. 1061 FY 1998 Labor, Health & Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act Coats Amendment:
(Passed 87-13)

Compromise amendment to national testing. Establishes a National Test but places it under the authority of an “independent” board called the National Assessment Governing Board. The members of this twenty six-member board have to be confirmed by the Secretary of Education.

Gorton Amendment
(Passed 51-49)

Would completely defund Goals 2000, the School-to-Work Opportunities Act, the National Education Goals Panel, National Skill Standards Board, Vocational Education, and over $4 billion worth of other federal education programs. Instead, the amount of money for these programs would be given straight to local education agencies to spend as they deem appropriate.

The president threatened a veto if this amendment was allowed; therefore, Congressman Porter recommended that this amendment be dropped.

H.R. 2264 FY 1998 Labor, Health & Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act
September 17, 1997 (Passed 346-80)

Istook/Manzullo Amendment

To require federally funded (Title X) health clinics to give written notice to a parent or guardian at least five business days before giving a minor contraceptive drugs or devices. This amendment was amended by Congressman Porter to change notification requirements.

Porter Amendment
(Passed 295-125)

A substitute to the Istook/Manzullo Amendment to require that health centers that receive federal family planning funds encourage family involvement and counsel minors on methods to resist coercive sexual activity.

Goodling Amendment
(Passed 295-125)

To prohibit federal funds from being used to develop national reading tests for fourth graders and national math tests for eighth graders.

At the end of September, the House and the Senate both passed their versions of the fiscal 1998 spending measures for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. The senate bill would distribute at least $11 billion directly to local school districts, bypassing the Education Department and state

Editor’s Note: This summary was prepared for Crisis in Education by Congressman Henry Hyde (R-IL).

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