A group of 13 United States senators, led by Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN), today announced their opposition to $800 million in cuts to essential education reforms included in the House-passed Supplemental Appropriations Act (H.R. 4899).
In a letter to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-HI), the senators outlined the importance of keeping teachers in the classroom while preserving resources for the country's key education reform programs, including Race to the Top, The Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) and the Charter Schools Program.
"The proposed education cuts are unacceptable," the senators wrote. "Choosing between preserving teacher jobs and supporting vital education reforms is a false choice and would set a dangerous precedent. By reducing promised funding for these important reforms, Congress would be pulling the rug out from under the efforts of thousands of communities around the country working to improve their schools."
Last year, Bayh was an early supporter of the president's call for bold education reform, endorsing pay-for-performance teacher incentives, the expansion of effective public charter schools, extended student learning time to stay globally competitive, and investments in state-of-the-art data systems for school systems to track student performance. Many of those reform programs will be imperiled by the $800 million in cuts.
Bayh was joined in the letter by Senators Mark Begich (D-AK), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Thomas Carper (D-DE), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kay Hagan (D-NC), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Mark Udall (D-CO), Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Mark Warner (D-VA).