SCHOOL READINESS ACT OF 2005 -- (House of Representatives - September 22, 2005)
The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. LaHood). Pursuant to House Resolution 455 and rule XVIII, the Chair declares the House in the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union for the consideration of the bill, H.R. 2123.
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Ms. LORETTA SANCHEZ of California. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in support of the Head Start program and the great opportunities that it provides to children, parents, and families in America.
I am a Head Start kid. I experienced firsthand the valuable and comprehensive education program that Head Start provides for low-income families. Head Start opened up a new world, not only for me, but also for the rest of my family.
As I received an education and health services, my mother learned valuable lessons on how to become a more active and involved parent in America's public school system. I am glad to see that H.R. 2123 preserves the valuable Federal-to-local design that gives parents and local communities the right and the responsibility to be active in their Head Start program. For this is really the key to the Head Start program, the fact that parents and families are also involved with their children.
To maintain the integrity of Head Start, I would urge my colleagues to pay special attention to two key votes. My colleague from Indiana (Mr. Souder) will be offering an amendment to restore the joint governance structure of Head Start and to allow policy councils made up of parents and community members to approve or disapprove program plans and operation activities, along with the board of directors. I urge my colleagues to support that important amendment.
On the other hand, I urge the House to oppose the amendment that would allow faith-based Head Start programs to use Federal tax dollars to discriminate against teachers and employees solely on the basis of their religion. We need to keep Head Start strong and to open it up for everyone so that it can remain the great program that it was for me and so that it can continue to be so for so many Americans.
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