Fattah Applauds Move Towards Fiscal Fairness in Education Law Rewrite

Oct 12, 2011, 12:07 ET from Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah

WASHINGTON, Oct. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA) issued the following statement regarding the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization language offered by HELP Committee Chairman Tom Harkin:

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"I want to thank Senator Harkin for his commitment to ensuring that districts allocate their funds fairly among schools and that Federal funds serve their stated purpose of covering some of the additional costs of educating children in concentrated poverty.  For too long folks have been gaming the system and undermining Congressional intent by reporting inaccurate school level expenditures.  This bill makes a big step in the right direction."  

The draft bill, which will be considered by the Senate's Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee next week, includes language similar to that in H.R. 1294, Congressman Fattah's proposal to fix the "comparability" provision in Title I and ensure schools have fair access to the funds they need to teach.  H.R. 1294, the ESEA Fiscal Fairness Act, requires that states and school districts demonstrate that they are spending their state and local funds on all schools fairly, before receiving Federal aid.  Current law excludes calculations of real teacher salaries, the majority of school costs, in the reporting of school-level expenditures.  This perpetuates the practice of spending more money on schools with wealthier students and less money on schools with poorer students, even in the same school districts.

For over 25 years Congressman Fattah has been leading the charge for educational opportunity for all students from kindergarten through graduate school. He has been a leader, innovator and advocate for education reform in his hometown of Philadelphia and, through his work in Congress since 1995, on the national stage. Education reformers, academics and school officials across the nation have looked to Congressman Fattah for his leadership, advocacy, insights and ability to articulate the crisis – and potential remedies – in American public education.

SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah