The Blog

"Sequestration" Cuts are Hurting Students: Urge Congress to End Them and Boost School Funding

National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel put it this way: “We continue to experience deep cuts to critical education programs, especially for low-income and students with special needs. We are America, and we are better than this.”

The NEA leader is referring to the political wrangling in Washington D.C. that has stalled efforts to replace school-bludgeoning “sequestration” cuts with what our schools desperately need: more funding for key educational programs, especially programs aimed at our students of greatest need.

Both the NEA president and the leader of the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) are urging Congress to act before a Dec. 13 deadline.

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California Educators Tell Congress Not to Cut Funding for Schools

(In photo above from l.) U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) welcomed California educators at her constituent breakfast, pictured here with Michelle Johnson, president of the Bakersfield Elementary Teachers Association/CTA/NEA.

More than a dozen CTA and CTA Community College Association members were in Washington, D.C. last week to urge members of Congress to oppose any federal budget bills that would continue devastating cuts to schools. 

At the same time, members of the delegation – which was led by CTA Secretary-Treasurer Mikki Cichocki-Semo and CTA Board Members Curtis L. Washington, Terri Jackson, E. Toby Boyd, and Tyrone Cabell -- briefed Congress about the cutting edge efforts California is taking to implement the Common Core State Standards and bring student assessment into the 21st century.

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CTA and NEA Press Lawmakers to Make Reauthorized ESEA Work

Congress could take up its version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) – HR 5 or the Student Success Act – as early as next week. Our members in California and National Education Association members around the country are urging federal lawmakers to turn the reauthorization bill into one that will work for our students and our schools.

NEA has opposed the bill in committee, and we share concerns about several troubling aspects of the proposed legislation.

HR 5 would undermine the federal government‘s work to ensure equity for all students. The bill would undercut efforts to get targeted resources to schools that educate students width greater needs. HR 5 would also weaken collective bargaining protections involving teacher evaluation. The bill would also continue to force schools to use high stakes testing that is harming teaching and learning.

NEA is also working to stop amendments that would add private school vouchers to the bill. Our members and educators throughout the nation are urging Congress to restore bargaining rights and end the focus on high stakes testing.

Congress could amend the measure over the next several days. In its current form, the bill is not acceptable.

Please urge Congress to refocus the ESEA on its original purpose: ensuring equity for all students.

Call your Congressional Representatives at 1-866-420-3592 and ask them to:

  • Recognize educators’ roles in student success, which means stopping the push for high stakes testing and guaranteeing teachers a voice in their profession through collective bargaining.
  • Oppose any efforts to divert public education funding to private school vouchers.

Or email your Congressional Representatives width the same message.

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Every child deserves a chance to learn and no child succeeds alone.

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