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Public Statements

Providing for Consideration of H.5. 5, Student Success Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. CHU. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to the rule and to H.R. 5. This bill radically reduces the role of the Federal Government in education at a time when we need to revitalize our education system. It slashes over $1 billion in funding to teach our kids. It eliminates accountability in our education system that ensures students graduate from high school and those with special needs don't get left behind.

I am particularly concerned about the impact this bill will have on community services that benefit the students struggling the most. Studies show that when we don't address students' social and economic disadvantages at schools, we undo the work that's achieved by having good skills and teachers with adequate resources. An astounding two-thirds of the achievement gap is due to factors outside of school. Children are more likely to succeed in schools when their comprehensive needs--nutrition, health, and a safe and stable home--are met.

These support systems--sometimes called ``wraparound services''--are particularly important for low-performing and low-income schools that greatly benefit from these services.

But instead of supporting programs that are scientifically proven to help close the achievement gap, H.R. 5 takes away the designated funding for them and lets States do with the money as they please. It completely cuts funding for after-school programs. It eliminates social and emotional programs that help keep our students safe, healthy, and ready to learn. And with the money that's left? There's no guarantee that it will be used to provide these services to students who need them the most.

We shouldn't leave to chance whether a school will care about students beyond their test scores. But this bill sets a dangerous precedent by exempting the Federal Government from responsibility to ensure schools adequately support students and families that face challenges outside of school.

Instead of improving No Child Left Behind, this bill takes us even further backwards. I urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on this rule and the underlying bill.

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