Today, Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) released the following statement in response to the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB):
"ESEA is in desperate need of an overhaul, but the Republican bill passed today is far from anything that will help our children succeed in the 21st Century. What I like to call the "Letting Students Down Act' undermines America's education system and is a poor excuse for a bill that is supposedly going to help our children compete against the rest of the world. Rather than investing in our children's education, the bill cuts education funding by nearly $1.3 billion and locks it in at sequester levels.
"This Republican bill dismantles education accountability standards for children with disabilities, children of color, low-income children, and English language learners. My amendment to H.R. 5 would have ensured that children with disabilities are not left behind and rather are taught at a higher educational standard; however, my amendment was coldly rejected. Put simply, the GOP bill shamefully says to these children that they are not deserving of a level of education afforded to children more fortunate than them.
"The future of our country's strength depends on the full education of all our students. Rather than helping our children, our economy, and the future of this country, House Republicans have taken yet another step in the wrong direction and will leave our children even further behind. Republican leadership has yet to propose a jobs bill or a budget solution, and instead has made it a priority to let our students and children down once again. It's time for Republican leaders to re-examine their priorities."