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Public Statements

Student Success Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Chair, I thank Chairman Kline and Ranking Member Miller for their work to improve education for our Nation's children. I thank the Rules Committee for making in order Jackson Lee Amendment #5 for full consideration by the House of Representatives.

My amendment to H.R. 5, the ``Student Success Act,'' is simple and is an important addition to this bill. I believe that my amendment to H.R. 5 can be supported by every member of the House. Jackson Lee Amendment # 5

Jackson Lee Amendment #5 would direct States with insufficient funding to target funds to schools serving neglected, delinquent, migrant students, English learners, at-risk students, and Native Americans, to increase academic achievement of such students. The purpose of the Amendment is to make the best use of the funds available to focus resources on students with the greatest need.

According to research conducted by Chester Hartman, titled, High Classroom Turnover: How Children Get Left Behind, found that a disproportionate number of schools with predominantly low-income African American and Hispanic students have low stability, and that such students are much more likely than others, to switch schools in the middle of the year. High student mobility has consequences for students, teachers, and schools and can result in lower achievement levels, slower academic pacing, and lower teaching satisfaction.

Poor families move 50-100 percent more often than non-poor families. Welfare reform has resulted in residential mobility. Migrant children typically move from community to community. Foster children often change schools each time they are removed from a home. The education administrators' role in education should emphasize meeting the needs of disadvantaged students, and students who are mobile are among the most disadvantaged.

In the past, the government has taken limited steps to address this issue. Jackson Lee Amendment #5 is intended to support schools educating children who are neglected, delinquent, migrant students, English learners, at-risk students, and Native American youth.

The topic of delinquency also presents challenges to schools and educators. Children live in their own worlds, which can present threats to their health, safety and emotional well being.

Children become delinquent or can become at-risk for a number of reasons including school bullying and violence.

Consequences of bullying:

15 percent of all school absenteeism is directly related to fears of being bullied at school.

According to bullying statistics, 1 out of every 10 students who drops out of school does so because of repeated bullying.

Suicides linked to bullying are the saddest statistic. Statistics on Houston Independent School District and Large School Districts

1. HISD has over 200,000 students, 80 percent of which are eligible for free and reduced price lunch. This means that, 80 percent of students come from low socioeconomic households. HISD has approximately 25 percent African American students, 63 percent Hispanic students, and 30 percent students with limited English proficiency.

2. The 100 largest districts represent less than 1 percent of all school districts in the nation, yet enrolls 21 percent of all students, including 25 percent of the Census poverty students, 33 percent of the black students, 32 percent of the Hispanic students, and 31 percent of all minority students.

Houston Independent School District's challenge in providing a world class education faces many of the challenges that Jackson Lee Amendment #5 would address.

The Nation's first line of national defense is a well educated population. Much of the Nation's defense depends on what is developed and created by STEM jobs. It is also important that men and women serving in the Armed Forces have a basic working knowledge of STEM to succeed. For these reasons, it is vital that every child have the best education that this Nation can provide. There is no one size fits all, and there are changes with each generation of teachers and students, but the one constant are the needs of all children are not the same.

There is no deterministic model that decides which child will succeed and which will fail. What we do know is that given the right learning environment with teachers with the right training and support we can graduate students who can create, innovate, lead and succeed in life.

I urge all members to vote in favor of these amendments.

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