Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) has voted in favor of funding education less than 25 percent of the time he had the opportunity to do so. That’s according to an analysis by Politics That Work, a political data site.
In 2016, for instance, Paulsen voted in favor of the SOAR Reauthorization Act. The Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Act (SOAR) was a Washington, D.C.-based program intended to provide scholarships for students who wanted to enroll in private schools. SOAR also provided funding to public charter schools and traditional public schools in D.C.
The SOAR Reauthorization Act would have limited the focus of eligible students to only the lowest-performing elementary and secondary school students.
In 2015, Paulsen voted against an amendment to prevent the Student Success Act from cutting funding to high poverty schools.
Paulsen also opposed a 2015 amendment to authorize the STEM Gateways program, which would have provided grants for students interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) at the elementary and secondary school level. The program also promoted the study of STEM in the classroom, with a special emphasis on encouraging the participation of women, girls, and underrepresented minorities in STEM. The amendment failed by a close vote of 217 against and 204 in favor.
In another amendment vote, Paulsen voted in favor of converting federal education funding to block grants. As Politics That Work explained, “Converting federal education dollars to block grants would result in some states transferring the funds over to vouchers and subsidies to existing private schools, both of which would partially offset current private expenditures, resulting in less total educational spending.”
In a series of roll call votes attached in July 2015, Paulsen opposed key amendments attached to the Student Success Act. One of these amendments provided for high school dropout prevention. Another expanded digital learning and access to technological resources in rural schools. Paulsen cast his third vote against an amendment designed to offer grants fo early-childhood education scholarships.
Overall, Paulsen tends to vote against supporting students and education — but he has no problem spending on the military and border security.
Featured image via YouTube.