Corrine Brown on Education
Campaign Website Statements
As a former educator, I understand how important education is to the future of this nation. In my estimation, education policies in the United States have not come close to meeting the needs of our nation's growing minority communities. A quick glance at the Bush administration's unfulfilled funding promises with respect to the January 2002 landmark education bill, The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), clearly demonstrates this.
Just two years ago, amid great media fanfare, President Bush signed the bipartisan NCLB education bill. The plan was to expand the federal role in public education by greatly increasing funding for badly needed education programs. The president and congressional leaders promised the American public that once passed, the government would give states sufficient funding so that they could comply with the law's requirements, which in turn, would dramatically improve the education system. However, primarily because of administration driven budgets containing trillions of dollars in tax cuts (an obvious drain on the public expenditures) and a precipitous economic downturn, the legislation (and consequently public education in America) has been severely under funded.
For minority students, the lack of funding and resources has exacerbated an already difficult situation. Many minorities come from economically stressed communities, which are in dire need of more federal resources. Unfortunately for minorities, programs such as bilingual education, migrant education, Head Start, IDEA, reduced class sizes, English as a Second Language, and after school programs are facing severe cuts. In fact, one program in particular, "the national dropout prevention program," was sliced from the President's budget from 5 million dollars to zero, essentially eliminating the program. With a disproportionately high drop out rate in the Latino and African American communities, cuts in important programs such as this are extremely detrimental to minority students struggling to finish school.
Among the plethora of previously cited programs that benefit minority students currently on the chopping blocks, one that stands out in particular to me is smaller class size. With proper funding, the requirement that classes have no more than 18 students would give public school teachers an opportunity to provide greater individual attention to their students. This is of utmost importance in low-income communities, where the students' parents often both work one or even two full time jobs just to make ends meet, and unfortunately may have to choose between assisting their children with their school work and putting food on the table. Moreover, given the high incidence of school violence (particularly in poor urban communities), less students leads to greater control in the class room. Lastly, smaller class sizes also make it easier for the students themselves to participate in class discussions, since they are given more attention and have more opportunities to answer and ask questions. I would like to emphasize that smaller class size is just one area out of many that desperately needs increased resources and funding.
I am a wholehearted supporter of educational programs designed to improve and expand education not only in Florida's Third Congressional District, but throughout the entire nation. Although I am not a sitting member on the Education and the Workforce Committee, I work closely with my colleagues to support and pass innovative education legislation to ensure a successful future for our nation's young people. I will continue the fight for affirmative action in college admissions, and work to advocate for important programs such as after school and summer learning programs, as well as numerous other educational programs for our nation's students.
In the 108th Congress, I have fought relentlessly to enforce full funding for the No Child Left Behind Act, as well block Republican party plans to set up private school voucher programs. To me, vouchers drain badly needed funding from our public schools by redirecting it into private institutions. I have also been a wholehearted advocate in the fight to maintain the Head Start program in its current state, and deflect Republican party attempts to block grant funding for this important program. And as always, I remain a faithful advocate for Florida schools, and of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
America COMPETES Reauthorization Act
In May of 2010 the House voted on reauthorizing the America COMPETES Act. The act passed the House 262-150. Corrine Brown voted in favor of reauthorizing the America COMPETES Act.
Corrine Brown voted in favor of reauthorizing the America COMPETES Act.
College Cost Reduction and Access Act
The College Cost Reduction and Access Act is a significant education bill dealing largely with funding for higher education. The bill removes tuition sensitivity for Pell Grants, increases the amount available for Pell grants, Funds the Upward Bound program, establishes the TEACH Grants, reduces student loan repayment rates, sets deferments based on need and establishes some partner based grants. The bill got the full support of the Democrats, but passed with the support of only about 1/4 of the Republicans. Corrine Brown voted in favor of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act.
Corrine Brown voted in favor of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act.
No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
No Child Left Behind was the primary focus of the Bush administration prior to 9/11. The bill requires states to develop assessments in basic skills to be given to all students in certain grades, if those states are to receive federal funding for schools. The Act does not assert a national achievement standard; standards are set by each individual state. The bill got the support of most Democrats and Republicans and passed the House in a 384-45 vote. Corrine Brown voted in favor of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
Corrine Brown voted in favor of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
DC Scholarship Program
In 1998, the House voted on an amendment to the yearly appropriations bill to Washington D.C.. The amendment allocated $7 Million dollars to a program for scholarships to low-income children. The amendment was ' agreed to with the support of most Republicans and most Democrats. Corrine Brown voted against the DC Scholarship Program.
Corrine Brown voted against the DC Scholarship Program.
Education Savings and School Excellence Act of 1998
This 1998 legislation would have allowed people to take money from their IRAs to pay for qualified elementary and secondary education expenses, including home schooling expenses. It increased the annual contribution limit from $500 to $2,000. It permits corporations to contribute to education IRAs. Although the bill passed both the house and the Senate, it was vetoed by the President. Corrine Brown voted against the Education Savings and School Excellence Act of 1998.
Corrine Brown voted against the Education Savings and School Excellence Act of 1998.
Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation
Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide grants to a designated state agency for development of universal prekindergaten programs for all children three, four, and five years old in the state. Requires the state to: (1) match federal funds by at least 20%; and (2) submit with its grant application a plan to establish, coordinate, and implement a statewide universal prekindergarten program. Authorizes state agencies to set aside up to 5% of a grant for ongoing professional development activities for teachers and staff of prekindergarten programs that wish to participate.
Amends the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to direct the Secretary of Education to implement a demonstration project providing competitive, 4-year grants to at least 10 secondary schools that have a 4-year adjusted cohort graduation rate of 60% or lower, for the provision of additional school counselors and counselor resources. Expresses the sense of Congress that grantees should provide one additional counselor for every 250 students at risk. Requires the additional school counselors to serve primarily students identified as being at risk of not graduating in four years. Makes grantees that demonstrate progress in improving their graduation rates eligible for subsequent grants.
To provide for recruiting, selecting, training, and supporting a national teacher corps in underserved communities.