WASHINGTON, April 29, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Congressman Chaka Fattah (PA-02) continued his advocacy for educational equity in a keynote address to more than 400 education policy fellows in Washington. Fattah's speech came on the third-day of the Institute for Educational Leadership's Washington Policy Seminar and addressed his work on the Equity and Excellence Commission and the future of educational equity in the United States.
"We are on the path to creating a more perfect union, one that provides a quality education for each and every child," Congressman Fattah said in his remarks. "[But] one thing we can't do is continue to lead a nation that remains globally competitive with people in the shadows."
Fattah was introduced at the conference by Ron Cowell, President of The Education Policy and Leadership Center (EPLC). Cowell and Fattah served together in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
In the speech, Fattah reiterated the need for school finance equity and advocated a move from an education system funded by property taxes, which leaves students from low-income neighborhoods at a significant disadvantage. He also shared some of the key findings of the Equity and Excellence Commission's report, released last year, and updated the audience on the efforts to implement the report's key recommendations. In direct response to the report, President Obama included a request for $300 million for the Race to the Top-Equity and Opportunity Initiative in his FY2015 budget proposal. Fattah has lead the charge to fund this program in the House, and it has received wide support from the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and other key leadership members.
Congressman Fattah has been one of the leading Congressional advocates for the equitable distribution of educational resources. In 2011, together with Congressman Mike Honda (CA-15) and Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Fattah directed the creation of the Equity and Excellence Commission to recommend appropriate policies across government to ensure all children have access to a high-quality education. The 27-member Commission, comprised of experts, scholars, teachers' union leaders, state and local education officials, and other education advocates, published their report in February 2013.
The Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP) is committed to producing leaders in the education fields. The over assembled audience members at today's conference included fellows from a cross-sector of education fields, as well as fellows who work in youth development, health and human services, neighborhood and community development, government, and philanthropy.
SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah