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Public Statements

Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ. Mr. Chair, just yesterday I stood with parents of young children in Davie Florida who attend early education classes at Crayons Child Care Center.

We spoke about how vital early education is in the development of children.
How early education increases high school graduation rates, and how 50 years of solid research has shown that early education is shown to reduce crime and delinquency. We spoke about how early education in minority and lower income communities helps to narrow the achievement gap and lifts future generations out of poverty. And how, for every dollar spent in early education, our communities yield up to a $7 return on our investment. Unfortunately, though, we weren't there to highlight the success of early education, we were there to highlight something that borders on insanity. Insanity because just over a week ago, this body made the largest cut to education in our Nation's history. Now, we all understand that our Nation needs to cut spending. But the society that balances its budget on the backs of its children should not be surprised when the spine of its future is broken. Davie is a long way from where we stand here today in Washington. And sometimes it is easy for Members to overlook, or to not understand how what happens here in the Capitol means out in the real world. That is why I stand here today. I stand here because the parents I met with cannot stand here and tell you, Mr. Chair, what these cuts will mean to their children. Should the cuts to early education funding that were passed in H.R. 1 stand, some of the children at Crayons Child Care will no longer be able to attend early education. And if students are forced to leave their early education classes there will be teachers at Crayons Child Care that will lose their job. Laying off teachers and dimming the future of America's children is no way to balance the budget. These children are 2, 3, 4 years old. They didn't run up the debt and deficit of our country, but the response from Republicans in the House of Representatives was that they would pay for it. Republicans preserved tax credits for oil, gas, and chemical companies; they cut Head Start funding. They preserved tax credits for the coal industry, but they cut Early Education funding. The parents I met with yesterday in Davie are just a handful of the 9,148 children in Florida that will lose their early education classes if these cuts are to stand. That just doesn't make sense.

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