WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) released the following statement in observance of American Education Week (November 14 – 20). American Education Week was founded by the National Education Association in 1921. This year’s theme is “Celebrating the American Dream.”
“I join with my colleagues in Congress during American Education Week to honor the important work of America’s teachers and educators. Education must be one of our nation’s top priorities because the American dream is unreachable without it.
“Unfortunately, we face growing challenges in ensuring every child has access to a quality education. The landmark education reform bill, the No Child Left Behind Act, is in danger of turning into a lost opportunity rather than a turning point in our education system. Despite strong rhetorical support from Washington, states and school systems are not receiving promised federal support.
“Congress is poised to pass a massive spending bill this week that will likely include federal education spending for 2005. The Bush Administration and the Republican Congress both proposed 2005 budgets earlier this year that would shortchange promises on education reform and improvements.
“For example, President Bush's budget request would invest $9.5 billion less in the No Child Left Behind Act in 2005 than he promised. And despite skyrocketing college tuition, House Republicans’ budget would freeze the maximum Pell Grant at $4,050 for the second year in a row.
“I hope that Republicans and Democrats will join together this American Education Week and pass a bill that will reinvigorate our commitment to the American Dream by fulfilling the promises of the No Child Left Behind Act and public education.”