Wednesday, March 16, 2011

ALERT!! Congress to Cut Federal Education Funs to Schools

Please take the time to send a letter to your congress person opposing the education cuts.  We are at risk of losing thousands of teaching jobs including the one that Dana currently holds.  Why is education always the first to get cut?  Always money for prisons and war, but not education?
Click here to send the letter to your members of Congress.
Federal education funding is in grave danger with the introduction of H.R. 1-the Full Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011-, and we’re calling upon you to take action. 
H.R. 1 would impose the greatest education cut in history, cutting education programs by over $10.5 billion or 15.4%. We cannot afford to let this legislation pass and we need you, as a school leader advocate, to help us convince members of Congress why.

Education programs that are vital to student achievement would be slashed in devastating ways, impacting millions of students and thousands of education jobs nationwide. For example, the proposed cut of $694 million to Title I (serving low-income students) would impact 957,000 students and could affect 9,000 jobs; likewise, it would cut $558 million from IDEA (Special Education funding to states), impacting 324,000 students and affecting 7,100 jobs. This drastic cut from IDEA would occur at a time when the federal government is still only funding IDEA at less than half of its promise of 40% toward the additional cost to educate students with disabilities. As a result, states and districts would have to incur an even greater burden for special education and other costs than they already struggle to do.

Another program that would be completely eliminated is the Striving Readers program, which several states rely on to implement comprehensive preK-12 literacy programs. This legislation would also eliminate funding for the program that was already appropriated in FY 2010, which means that the work done by 44 states through the state literacy teams to integrate and improve reading and writing instruction will be lost. Further, with the loss of Striving Readers funding, our nation will have no dedicated program to improve reading and writing instruction; the National Assessment of Educational Progress will continue to show no meaningful overall improvement in reading and writing scores; and the improvement of literacy instruction in middle and high school will continue to be neither systematic nor comprehensive.

Cuts of this magnitude to education programs would completely reverse progress on improving student achievement, closing achievement gaps and increasing high school graduation, postsecondary education attendance and college completion rates.

These cuts would come at a time when schools and colleges are facing both the termination of ARRA funds and deep cuts in state aid due to unprecedented and continuing state budget gaps that will result in substantial reductions and layoffs at all levels of education. Since January 2010, the combined number of state and local government education employees dropped by over 81,000 positions.

For all of the above reasons and the countless stories of those who would be affected by such cuts, we urge you to contact your members of Congress using the accompanying draft letter on PLAC to oppose H.R. 1 and instead to support the well-being of our PreK-postgraduate population, and thus our future.
Click here to send the letter to your members of Congress.
Thank you for your assistance in our advocacy efforts.
Amanda Karhuse and Mary Kingston

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