Congressman Bill Pascrell

Representing the 9th District of NEW JERSEY

Pascrell Hails Passage of Education Overhaul Measure in House

Dec 13, 2001
Press Release

WASHINGTON - {Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-8), a former teacher and Board of Education President, issued the following statement regarding today's vote in the House of Representatives to pass a comprehensive education reform bill. The bipartisan measure is known as H.R 1, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act Reauthorization, or the "Leave No Child Behind Act."

"Educating young people is something near and dear to my heart as a former teacher. With higher standards, stronger accountability for student performance, and more resources, we can improve achievement levels and enhance futures whether the classroom is in an urban city or a suburban town. Kids from Paterson to Wayne and all communities in between will reap the benefits of this bipartisan bill.

This bill is not about advancing agendas on either side of the aisle, but about advancing learning in every school. It is about closing the achievement gap between rich and poor as well as minority and non-minority students. Every child has a right to receive the tools needed to succeed, and this bill empowers local schools to provide those tools.

The bill does many important things. First, it does not include shortsighted proposals that would have lumped the targeted 21st Century Learning Center funds into block grants combined with other programs. Two such Centers, located in Passaic and Paterson, will benefit as a result.

The bill also correctly increases funding for Title I, which assists poorer schools and student populations, and preserves Hate Crimes programs that teach tolerance to our kids at this most important time. It also dramatically expands federal support for locally-designed approaches to help Limited English Proficient (LEP) students learn English and achieve academically.

The bill properly rejects private school vouchers and the consolidation of important programs like Safe and Drug Free Schools. This overhaul is the right thing to do because it rejects politicizing the education of our students and makes their enhancement the top priority."