Senate Democrats


Programs Critical to the African American Community Get the Ax

Washington, DC- Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid today expressed strong opposition to cuts to education programs that are crucial to the African American community. For the fourth year in a row, Republicans and the Bush Administration have chosen to target key programs such as Drop Out Prevention, Even Start and Pell Grants that help African American children succeed from preschool to college:

“Education was the key to a better life for me,” said Reid. “At a time when the need for a well-educated, well-trained work force is more critical than ever, Republicans are undermining crucial job training and education programs. America can do better.”

The Administration and Republican Congress are reneging on the promise of leaving no child behind, particularly African American children. Title I, which provides funding for schools with the highest number of low-income children would be cut by $28 million below last year, thus denying full Title I services to 160,000 children who are currently eligible. It would also freeze Pell Grants, which would make it more difficult for low income African American students to achieve the dream of a college education.

For the first time in a decade, federal education funding would be cut below the previous year by $624 million. Other areas that the Labor-HHS appropriations bill would impact are special education, and after school programs.

While President Bush and Republicans are attempting to undermine opportunities for African American children, Democrats have been fighting back by supporting provisions to increase funding for programs that specifically address the needs and values of African American families. Programs that help parents participate in their children’s education, help students graduate from high school.

“A strong education has leveled the playing field and opened doors once closed to for many African Americans,” said Reid. “While more doors must be opened, the Bush Administration seems to have a blind eye and a cold heart to the true impact of its cuts. It’s time to stop catering to the special interests and to millionaires and do the right thing for our country”