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Take Action: Tell Your Representatives to Protect the Needs of Students

 

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee

Take Action: Tell Your Representatives to Protect the Needs of Students  

Washington, DC | www.adc.org | February 26, 2015 – The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) calls on Congress to protect the needs of students by supporting the Scott Substitute Amendment to H.R. 5.  The Scott Substitute Amendment would protect English Language Learning programs and ensure quality education to poverty stricken school districts.

ADC Opposes H.R. 5 in its current form:

In a joint letter to Congress, ADC and a coalition of 45 national organizations urged Congress to protect the needs of students by opposing H.R. 5, calling the education bill “a rollback to a time when the needs of students in underserved communities were ignored.” H.R. 5 must be amended in order to ensure quality education for all students.

H.R. 5 is the House education bill that authorizes appropriations for the education programs under Titles I, II, III, and IV of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). H.R. 5 introduces a provision known as Title I portability. Title I portability would allow states to give each district and school the same amount of funding per low-income student regardless of their overall poverty rate, ignoring the effects of concentrated poverty. 

ADC opposes H.R. 5’s inclusion of portability provisions to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The portability provisions undermine Title I’s fundamental purpose of addressing achievement gaps in poor schools by providing crucial assistance to public schools with high concentrations of poverty and high-need students. 

ADC also opposes H.R. 5’s elimination of the Title III protections for English Language Learners (ELL). Given that English is often not the native language of children in the Arab-American community, we must ensure that English Language Learning programs are protected. Title III protections are necessary to ensure adequate educational assessments, funding, and a quality education. ADC stressed the need for such provisions to protect the needs of English Learner Students & Limited English Proficienct Parents in a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Education.

ADC Supports the Scott Substitute Amendment:

ADC calls on members to support the Scott Substitute Amendment to the House education bill in order to ensure quality education and counteract Congress’ disregard for the needs of our community’s children in poverty stricken school districts.

First, the Scott Substitute restores Title III protections, increases funding, and accountability to ensure quality education for ELL, namely by requiring states to establish English language proficiency standards and conduct native language assessments.

Second, the Scott Substitute restores separate dedicated funding streams to migrant students, and limits the “flexibility” provisions that would allow funding from this program to be spent on activities rather than on services.

Third, the Scott Substitute does not allow states to make Title I funds “portable”, thus preserving Title I. The Scott Substitute also calls for greater accountability and school improvement measures, funding equity, and provisions to address the particular needs of students with disabilities and neglected, delinquent or at-risk youth.

TAKE ACTION: Tell your Representatives to support the Scott Substitute Amendment


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