Thursday, 19 March 2015 00:00

Budget Cuts Shouldn't Come at our Kids' Expense

Written by Rep. Raúl Grijalva

Funding for education is more than a line item on a budget – it’s an investment in a brighter future for our kids and a down payment on a more competitive workforce in the global marketplace. But last week, Arizonans learned that their kids were being targeted on two fronts, as state-level and Congressional Republicans both took shots at funding for our schools.

On Capitol Hill, the GOP is trying to undermine the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), landmark legislation that helps ensure every child, regardless of background or circumstance, has an opportunity to learn and reach their full potential. They’re removing federal standards for students in our schools and ending requirements for schools to demonstrate growth. Instead of viewing failing students as the greatest challenge for our education system to overcome, this bill leaves them behind and absolves federal responsibility to help them succeed.

Not to be outdone in their own assault on education, Governor Ducey and the Republican state legislature struck a weekend budget deal in the dead of night that guts $100 million from public universities, and zeroes funding for Pima, Maricopa and Pinal County community colleges out completely. It extracts further from non-classroom funding – money that would otherwise pay for librarians, counselors and speech therapists.

When I learned about these cuts, I hit the road to hear directly from parents, teachers, students and faculty. After visiting eight schools throughout our district, it is clear that concern over these cuts is palpable.The educators who work every day to open new doors for our kids deserve better than to have their budgets slashed. Republicans aren’t just failing to set benchmarks for our kids – they’re actively working against them. I will continue fighting these efforts both at home and in DC, and you have my word that any effort to undermine our education systems will never have my support.




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Read 6864 times Last modified on Thursday, 19 March 2015 17:03