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Congresswoman Clarke Opposes Attempt to Undermine Public Schools

Brooklyn, N.Y. – Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement on H.R. 5, the “Student Success Act,” also known as the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which passed Congress yesterday by a vote of 218 to 213. Congresswoman Clarke voted “no.”

The bill, sponsored by Republicans, would undermine support for public schools by allowing the diversion of resources from low-income districts to high-income districts and by enabling the transfer of funds from programs that support low-income students and English-language learners.

“President Lyndon B. Johnson and the Members of Congress who initially drafted the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in 1965, who believed that every child should have an opportunity to learn, would not recognize H.R. 5,” said Congresswoman Clarke. “This law would deprive our schools of nearly $800 million over the next six years, and allow states to reallocate for other uses funds provided under Title 1, which provides programs and resources to low-income schools. We cannot as a nation afford  this type of divestment in our children, particularly in communities of color, neighborhoods with high levels of poverty, and for students with disabilities. For almost a half-century, the laudable purpose for which the Elementary and Secondary Education Act was enacted – to  support every child in the development of her or his unique talents- has guided the subsequent reauthorization and implementation of this law. Sadly, H.R. 5 fails miserably at meeting this mark.”

Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke is a member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce in the House of Representatives, a member of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade, the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, and the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, as well as the Committee on Ethics and the Committee of Small Business. She represents many neighborhoods in central and southern Brooklyn, NY which include Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Gerritsen Beach, Madison, Midwood, parts of Park Slope and Flatlands, Prospect Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Sheepshead Bay, and Windsor Terrace.

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