Keeping Promises to Local Schools
Congressman Israel believes we should increase federal funding for local schools to match the levels of accountability mandated by federal law. He doesn't believe in short-changing our children's education or forcing local governments to pick up the tab for under-mandates, which causes them to raise property taxes to make up the difference.
Congressman Israel cosponsored legislation to tie federal mandates on local schools to adequate funding. The No Child Left Behind Act added many requirements to local schools, with promises of federal funding that has yet to materialize. The Keeping Our Promises to America's Children Act, which Congressman Israel cosponsored with Congressman Dennis Moore of Kansas, will ensure that schools have the tools necessary to meet their new requirements.
In 2001, Congressman Israel supported the No Child Left Behind Act and still wants to make it work. Unfortunately, Congressional leaders did not want to hold up their end of the bargain, which would mean matching funding with the mandates in that law. We should have high standards for our schools, but we need to give educators the tools necessary to meet those standards of excellence.
Despite the lack of funds, schools still face new federally mandated paperwork, strict schedules of accountability, burdensome professional requirements and a one-size-fits-all measurement process. Even the top Long Island schools, ranked among the best in the nation, are asked to improve test scores every year or face diminished state and federal funding. The Keeping Our Promises to America's Children Act will ensure that our schools not only meet strict accountability standards, but surpass even the most optimistic expectations. Our children deserve no less.
Increasing Funding For the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
Under this law, the federal government committed to covering a maximum of 40 percent of the cost of educating children with disabilities. It was assumed was that educating children with disabilities was, on average, twice as costly as educating nondisabled children. However, federal funding for IDEA typically only represents approximately 17 percent of the estimated cost of providing special education and related services, leaving states and local governments responsible for a $10 billion shortfall. By increasing funding IDEA on the federal level, we can improve education programs for students with disabilities and free up local funds to reduce class sizes, build and modernize schools and implement technology in the classroom.
Affordable Higher Education
Higher education has always been an essential building block of our nation's success, providing an opportunity for a better life to millions and serving as a vehicle to move the country forward. In recent years, education has become even more important in ensuring America's economic prosperity, national security and overall health. For many Americans, however, the college dream has become a financial nightmare.
In the 110th Congress, Congressman Israel enthusiastically supported H..R 2669, the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007. This legislation, which was signed by the President on September 27, will provide the single largest increase in college aid since the GI bill. And it will do so at no new cost to taxpayers, by cutting excess subsidies paid by the federal government to lenders in the student loan industry.
Additionally, Congressman Israel is a cosponsor of H.R. 2017, the Part-Time Student Assistance Act and H.R. 1608, the College Aid made EZ Act. These bills would provide access and assistance to increase college attendance and completion by part-time students and simply the student aid application process.
Strong Ties With Long Island Schools
Rep. Israel knows that local schools understand local needs best. If you would like him to visit your school, please contact our Long Island office.