Rep. Wasserman Schultz Supports New Funding For Education
Republicans Refuse to Keep Promise to Parents and Children
This afternoon, Rep. Wasserman Schultz announced that she was voting against the bill that severely underfunds high-priority education, health care, and job training programs that are crucial to constituents in her district - including education programs, Head Start, Pell Grants, job training, child care, and Low-Income Home Energy Assistance. The bill funds the federal departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. Rep. Wasserman Schultz expressed particular concern with the bill's underfunding of key education initiatives.
"I could not support a bill that so completely failed to meet the needs of the schoolchildren in my district," said Rep. Wasserman Schultz. "This bill must be substantially improved in order to meet the needs of this nation's children, its seniors, and its working families. The bill that passed the House today is completely unacceptable."
"Once again, our students and teachers are being forced to do more with less," said Rep. Wasserman Schultz. "The landmark education reforms that were supposed to support our schools have turned into an empty promise and an unfunded mandate."
"The schoolchildren in Florida are not getting the funding they were promised when President Bush signed the No Child Left Behind Act three and a half years ago," Rep. Wasserman Schultz added. "Under this bill, 160,644 schoolchildren in my state of Florida will not get the help with reading and math they were promised. Furthermore, under this bill, 78,791 schoolchildren in Florida will be denied the opportunity they were promised to participate in programs that keep them safe and productive after school."
"In addition, under this bill, my state of Florida is receiving $5.5 million less in funding for children with special education needs than the level promised by Congress last year," said Rep. Wasserman Schultz.
Overall, the bill provides $13.2 billion less nationally and $673 million less in Florida for education programs than was promised in the No Child Left Behind Act. Over $9 billion nationally ($513 million in Florida) of that shortfall is in Title I, which provides low-income children with the help they need in reading and math. Funding for after-school programs is frozen at 2005 levels, and there is a $3.9 billion shortfall for special education nationally.