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Issue Position: Education

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As an educator, former President of the San Diego School Board, and former professor at San Diego State University, Congressman Bob Filner is deeply committed to providing a quality education for each and every child in our nation.

In July, 2003, the National Education Association presented Congressman Filner with the prestigious NEA Martin Luther King, Jr. Award, which recognizes his lifetime commitment to providing quality education for all students in the nation.

A major piece of education is The No Child Left Behind Act, which has been law since 2002. Even though this bill represented a compromise between Democrats and Republicans, Bob was concerned that the President's tax policies would not leave enough funding for the programs in this bill. Unfortunately, his concerns have become a reality. In addition, The No Child Left Behind Act attempts to push a "one size fits all" testing accountability program which has led to eliminating or reducing the teaching of all subjects except math and English. This law must be re-authorized by the current 110th Congress. Bob will be working will his colleagues on the House Education Committee to address the many concerns of parents and teachers about No Child Left Behind.

Bob was also a co-sponsor of the America's Better Classroom Act. Millions of children attend overcrowded or dilapidated classrooms, and many schools are crumbling. Children go to class in closets, storage rooms or trailers. Science and computer labs use decades-old equipment. Computers are often non-existent. In fact, one in three public schools is in need of major repair, according to the American Institute of Architects. This bill addresses these needs, and Bob will again support it work to improve the quality of our children's education.

The 2001 tax cut for only the top 1% of filers costs 50 times as much as the amount needed for school modernization.

Bob has, for years, supported full federal funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) and he has just co-sponsored the Full Funding for IDEA Now Act. The President's FY2007 budget leaves schools $14.5 billion short of funding for the education of children with special needs.

Bob also co-sponsored the Student Adjustment Act, in the last session of Congress, to open educational opportunities for talented, undocumented students who were brought here as children and have lived in the United States for most of their lives. He will again co-sponsor this bill in the 110th Congress as soon as it is re-introduced.

Bob is opposed to vouchers for private school education. He believes that we need to support our public schools, the cornerstone of our nation's educational system, and not withdraw needed funding to use on vouchers for a few.


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