Rep. Baca Expresses Concern that Latino Students are Left Behind;
Rep. Joe Baca (D- California) today joined with colleagues from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) to call for the U.S. Department of Education to improve its efforts on behalf of Limited English Proficient (LEP) students.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO), at the request of Democrats on the House Education Committee, recently completed a report on this subject entitled "No Child Left Behind - Education's Data Improvement Efforts Could Strengthen the Basis for Distributing Title III Funds" and made it public today. The report reveals that the Dept. of Education has had problems implementing and enforcing the law relating to English Language Learners and documents flaws in the numbers used to distribute funds under the Title III program for English language acquisition, enhancement and academic achievement.
Rep. Baca said, "I am concerned that students in San Bernardino County and in schools across America are being shortchanged. Learning English is important for students to achieve academically and succeed in the workforce. We need to make sure that accurate numbers are used so states and school districts have the appropriate funding and resources to help all students with limited English proficiency."
Rep. Baca thanked the Democratic members of the House Education and the Workforce Committee for paying attention to this issue and said he expects increased oversight of the Department of Education and more support for English Language Learners in the 110th Congress when Democrats are in the majority.
He also praised Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, who chairs the CHC Education Task Force.
Rep. Baca will serve as the CHC Chair for 2007-08 and is committed to boosting educational achievement among Hispanic Americans.