Statement From Bob Wise, President of the Alliance for Excellent Education, on the FY 2010 Labor, HHS, and Education Appropriations Bill
STATEMENT FROM BOB WISE, PRESIDENT OF THE ALLIANCE FOR EXCELLENT EDUCATION, ON THE FY 2010 LABOR, HHS, AND EDUCATION APPROPRIATIONS BILL
Washington, DC – This morning, the House Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), and Education Appropriations Subcommittee marked up the Fiscal Year 2010 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Bill. In response, Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia, issued the following statement.
“The nation’s middle and high school students made great headway from the subcommittee’s decision to provide over $400 million for literacy priorities, including $111 for the Striving Readers program, as well as the decision to provide $50 million for a high school dropout prevention initiative. This is an important down payment on dealing with the dropout crisis that must be expanded in future legislative action.
“What still needs funding is President Obama’s bold proposal to tackle the dropout crisis with a $1 billion increase for School Improvement Grants with at least 40 percent going to the nation’s middle and high schools. The president’s proposal places a special emphasis on turning around nation’s approximately 2,000 ‘dropout factories,’ which are high schools where less than 60 percent of freshmen make it to their senior year three years later.
“Dropout factories are the low-hanging fruit in the effort to boost the national graduation rate. They account for less than 15 percent of the nation’s high schools, yet they produce more than half of the nation’s dropouts and nearly 75 percent of minority dropouts.
“While I understand the subcommittee’s desire to restore another $1 billion for Title I rather than fund the School Improvement Grants, the unfortunate reality is that little Title I funding will reach the high schools that are in desperate need of additional resources. Currently, only about 10 percent of Title I dollars go to high schools.
“Moving forward, the Alliance looks forward to working with the Appropriations Committee to ensure that high schools receive a fair share of these funds and hope that the committee will revisit the decision not to fund the president’s proposed $1 billion increase for School Improvement Grants before it sends the bill to the House floor.”
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The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington-based policy, research, and advocacy organization that works to make every child a graduate, prepared for postsecondary education and success in life. For more information about the Alliance for Excellent Education, please visit www.all4ed.com.