Statement by the Hon. George Miller - News Conference Regarding Republican Head Start Legislation

Rep. George Miller (D-CA), the senior Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, appeared at a news conference today with Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, kids, and other members of Congress, to highlight their concerns with the GOP Head Start bill that is expected to be voted on by the House some time this week.

“This Head Start bill is in serious trouble – as it should be!
 
“There is a massive gap between how the President and House Republicans have described this bill and what is actually in it.
 
“They claim it improves Head Start, but in reality – it weakens education standards.
 
“It allows states to use federal money to increase class size, increase child-teacher ratios, and use untested curricula.
 
“It cuts in half the money currently used for program quality improvements.
 
“It provides no money for teacher quality improvements.
 
“They claim it maintains comprehensive health and parent services that are proven to increase school readiness – but it requires NONE of the federal program requirements.
 
“Over 100 groups of education experts, parent and teacher groups have voiced strong opposition to the Republican plan.
 
“Dozens of newspaper editorial boards from all over the country have written in opposition.
 
“Mayors, state legislatures, and Governors have opposed the Republican bill.

“Why?  Because the credibility gap between the Republican rhetoric and the reality is widening – this bill will not improve Head Start, it will destroy it.

“Even a successful program like Head Start can be improved.  And we support making it better and more accountable.  But their bill would not improve Head Start.  It would destroy one of our very best early childhood education programs.”

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