From the Office of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi: Education Funding a 'Defining Vote for Republican Party'

July 9, 2003
Contact: Brendan Daly/Jennifer Crider

Washington, D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Congressman George Miller, and representatives from education groups held a news conference this morning to discuss the education funding gap in the House Republican Labor, Health and Human Services, Education Appropriations bill, which is expected to be on the House floor this week. They also released a new report with a state by state analysis of the Republicans' broken promises on education. The report can be found here. Below are Leader Pelosi's remarks:

“Thank you for joining us. I am pleased to be joined by my colleague George Miller, the Ranking Member on the Education and the Workforce Committee and a great champion for the education of America’s children and every other quality of life issue for America’s families; Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, a very senior member of the Education and the Workforce Committee and a champion for children, as well; Luis Alfonso Torres, a student at Georgetown University is with us; and Dr. Bill Dean, the Superintendent of Frederick County Public Schools in Virginia.

“We also have a number of representatives from education groups here today, and I would like to thank them all for joining us and especially acknowledge the Committee for Education Funding and their member organizations for being here. Good morning. Thank you for coming.

“The Republicans in Congress have promised time and time again, with great fanfare, to ‘Leave No Child Behind.’ And, yet again, the Republicans have broken that promise with their appropriations bill. It is $8 billion below the funding level of the “Leave No Child Behind’ bill, leaving millions of children behind.

“This is the defining vote for the Republican Party. If they vote for this bill then all of the statements they have made about claiming to support education are simply unreal. Republicans cannot proclaim their commitment to our nation’s schools and then withhold their support. They cannot tell our children and parents we care about schools and then watch our decaying classrooms fill with greater numbers of unprepared students.

“Kids are so smart. We tell them to value education, that it is important to their self-fulfillment in their lives, that it is important to their learning capacity when they are out of school, that it is important to our country. We tell them this, to value education, and yet we, the Congress of the United States, will not commit the resources to their education that says that we truly value it.

“So kids hear a mixed message, and they think that we truly don’t value their education. And when you see the Republican proposal that will be going forward this week that would be the appropriate statement.

“The report we are releasing today shows that education funding is being cut in every state. Across the board, Republicans have broken their promises.

“Democrats understand that an investment in education is an investment in the strength of our economy.

“The Republicans are failing parents, are failing children, and are failing America. It is time for the Republicans to make good on their promises and fund the ‘No Child Left Behind’ bipartisan legislation.”




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