WASHINGTON, DC – Released this morning, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee unveiled legislation to fund the federal government for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2011. In response, Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia, made the following statement:
“There is no doubt that the Congress will be making significant spending cuts this year, but we must remember that cutting the dropout rate is even more important than cutting the budget. Whether America sails or fails in the knowledge-based economy of the twenty-first century will depend on the education students receive today.
“Research shows that only one-third of students are proficient in reading. That is a recipe for disaster when you consider that two-thirds of jobs will soon require at least some postsecondary education. The House-passed measure funding the federal government eliminated the primary funding source strengthening literacy among the nation’s students—the new comprehensive Striving Readers program, which supports statewide, research-based literacy instruction and interventions for children from birth through grade twelve. Thankfully, the Senate’s proposal restores this funding.
“A student who cannot read is a student who cannot succeed. I call on the Congress to enact a responsible budget that prioritizes education reform.”
The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington, DC-based national policy and advocacy organization that works to improve national and federal policy so that all students can achieve at high academic levels and graduate from high school ready for success in college, work, and citizenship in the twenty-first century. For more information about the Alliance for Excellent Education, please visit www.all4ed.com.