WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) along with Congressman Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX), Co-Chairs of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) and CHC Chairwoman Linda Sánchez sent a letter today to Reps. John Kline and Todd Rokita, Chairmen of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, and its Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education, respectively, expressing their strong opposition to H.R. 5, the Republican reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Rep. Grijalva released the following statement:
“The federal government has a historic role in ensuring all students – regardless of background or circumstance – have the opportunities afforded by a strong education,” Rep. Grijalva said. “The Republican proposal reauthorizing ESEA is nothing short of a dismantling of that important role, and the most vulnerable among us are the first victims of their bill.”
In addition to undermining educational standards, H.R. 5 would cut drastically from school budgets. In Arizona alone, schools could lose nearly $33 billion over a 5 year span compared to current funding levels.
“The GOP cannot claim to be helping our children while their bill undermines the requirement for states to set high educational standards,” Grijalva continued. “They can’t claim to be for greater opportunity, while this bill eliminates vital programs, including all funding for special populations like English Learners and migrant students. Worst of all, they can’t claim to want the best for our children when this bill will literally allow states to siphon money away from underserved communities and redirect it into schools in affluent communities.
“This bill makes America less competitive, and absolves the federal government of the responsibility for the educational achievement of all students. Put bluntly, our children deserve better. I strongly support Ranking Member Bobby Scott’s Democratic Substitute it reflects solutions to the many challenges facing our nation’s schools. ”
Full text of Rep. Grijalva’s letter can be found here.