Today, in the wake of a vote in the House of Representatives’ Committee of Education & the Workforce at which a proposal to provide $6700 per student displaced by Hurricane Katrina in federal relief funds to every school – public, private or parochial – which has taken in such students was defeated by a vote of 26 to 21, the Union’s director of public policy, Nathan Diament, issued the following statement:
We are disappointed that members of the House committee could not put aside larger political differences and the extremist calls of certain activist organizations and vote to expedite overdue federal aid to the schools serving children displaced by the hurricane. Despite the commonsense recognition – shared by people of diverse beliefs such as Senators Lamar Alexander, Ted Kennedy and the Washington Post’s editorial writers – that public and non-public schools should receive this aid, a majority of committee members balked at Chmn. Boehner’s initial proposal.
We appreciate that late in the day Mr. Boehner offered another proposal which would have the Dept of Education make grants directly to schools – public and nonpublic – which have taken in displaced students. We hope that a mark up for this new proposal, or action on a similar one, will take place swiftly and the members on the Committee will not delay this relief effort lest the funds be re-allocated in the reconciliation process.”