Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today voted against final passage of H.R. 5, a widely opposed bill that will lock in sequester cuts to education funding, and lower standards and accountability for schools with underserved populations. The legislation, which passed the House by a vote of 221-207, cuts funding for public schools and targets programs for children with disabilities, children of color, children living in poverty, and English language learners.
"While I was thrilled that my amendment to reauthorize the Native Hawaiian Education Act was included in the bill yesterday with a vote of 263-161, I could not support the final legislation and its damaging impacts on so many of our keiki," said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who also voted in favor of a Democratic substitute that would have strengthened the bill. "We need to make sure we are investing in the future of all of our children. Unfortunately, this bill makes permanent damaging cuts to education, eliminates crucial accountability measures, and hurts disadvantaged and underserved children. In order to invest in our future, we have to provide adequate resources and meaningful accountability to ensure that all our students have equal access to quality education."
Groups from across the spectrum have voiced public opposition to H.R. 5, including business, civil rights, labor, disability, and nearly all education organizations. The Obama Administration has also issued a veto threat for the bill in its current form.