REP. LEVIN OPPOSES HARMFUL REPUBLICAN CUTS TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES, PUBLIC BROADCASTING
Today U.S. Representative Sander Levin announced his strong opposition to the FY 2006 Labor-Health and Human Services-Education Appropriations bill proposed by House Republicans. Scheduled for a vote on the House Floor this week, components of the bill would impose significant cuts for a number of programs affecting children and families, including two important block grant programs and the federal government's major education program, the No Child Left Behind Act.
"This bill makes children and families a low priority," said Rep. Levin. "From education and child care to emergency food assistance and immunizations, these cuts put children at risk. We can do better than this, and I simply cannot support a bill that fails to provide adequate resources to these critical services."
The appropriations bill cuts funding for programs included in the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act by $806 million compared to current levels, a significant decrease in funds from figures promised to local schools facing rigorous academic and teacher certification standards next year. In total, the proposed bill would provide $13.2 billion less than originally promised by the Bush Administration when NCLB was signed into law in January 2002. Since that date, NCLB has suffered repeated cuts in funding, leaving a gap of more than $40 billion compared to original expectations.
The Community Services Block Grants would be cut by $637 million by the proposed bill. Community Service Block Grants provide thousands of communities with resources to address such needs as emergency food assistance, parenting education, job training and placement, energy assistance, and child care. The proposed bill would cut these vital services in half.
The proposed bill also cuts the Preventive Health Block Grants by $31 million or 24 percent. These grants are used by states and localities for vital public health functions such as responding to disease outbreaks, immunizing children, and improving care for people with chronic diseases like diabetes and asthma.
In addition, the bill would cut funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting by $100 million or 25%. The Corporation provides vital funding for local public television and radio stations across the country.
"Public broadcasting is an essential service that encourages education and a love of learning in our youth," Rep. Levin said. "The cuts proposed in this bill will hurt public television and severely limit choices for parents searching for quality programming for their children."