Dropout Funds Cuts

On May 25, the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce passed the first in a series of education reform bills designed to revamp the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), currently known as No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The bill, “Setting New Priorities in Education Spending Act,” which passed on a party-line vote of twenty-three to sixteen, would eliminate more than forty federal education programs, including Striving Readers, Smaller Learning Communities, High School Graduation Initiative, and Enhancing Education Through Technology (Ed-Tech).

Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA), offered an amendment that would have restored some of the dropout prevention activities that the bill eliminated. The amendment failed on a party-line vote of sixteen to twenty-three.

In defense of the amendment, Scott noted that it would specifically restore dropout prevention services that are not duplicative and authorized in other sections of ESEA. “There are dropout prevention services that are successful,” Scott said. “Those services should be expanded. There are also dropout prevention services that are unsuccessful. Those services should be cut. Dropout prevention services ensure that the nation’s high school students—and the nation itself—succeed.”

Since the vote to eliminate federal funding for dropout prevention services was along party lines (the Republicans voted to cut; the Democrats voted not to cut) remember to ask your representative how they voted before you vote in November.