Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., aka Mr. Let's-Ditch-the-Department-of-Education, got a seat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. Paul is also a member of the Senate's new tea party caucus.
Paul's appointment, obviously, isn't curtains for 400 Maryland Ave. But Paul is going to be a tough customer who probably won't rush to sign off on the administration's ideas for ESEA renewal.
The committee still has a number of GOP moderates though, including new member Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois.
Here's the full list of folks on the Senate Education Committee:
Democrats: Sens. Tom Harkin of Iowa (who is the chairman), Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, Patty Murray of Washington, Bernard Sanders of Vermont, Robert Casey of Pennsylvania, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Al Franken of Minnesota, Michael Bennet of Colorado, and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island. Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, a new member of Congress who sued the U.S. Department of Education when he was the state attorney general over the No Child Left Behind Act, also got a slot on the committee.
Republicans: Sens. Mike Enzi of Wyoming, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Johnny Isakson of Georgia, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Orrin Hatch of Utah, John McCain of Arizona, Pat Roberts of Kansas, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Mark Kirk, Illinois.
Two notable education committee changes on the House side: Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., a fave of Democrats for Education Reform and the author of a bill making Race to the Top permanent, is off the committee. K-12 policy is an issue near and dear to Polis' heart, so I'm guessing there just weren't enough seats for him to stay on.
Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., who led the opposition to the administration's four School Improvement Grant models, is also gone, likely because there simply weren't enough slots left for Democrats.