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Campaign for Fiscal Equity
 

Tue, Apr 27, 2010

CFE and Allies Comment on Elementary and Secondary Act (ESEA) Reauthorization



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Groups emphasize the urgent need to ensure that states provide districts and schools, especially those serving concentrations of low-income or “at-risk” students and students of color, with the resources necessary to offer all students a genuine "Opportunity To Learn" and achieve rigorous academic standards.

April 27, 2010

U.S. Senate, Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions

Re: Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)

Dear Chairman Harkin, Ranking Member Enzi, and Members of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions:

The undersigned organizations appreciate the opportunity to respond to the Committee’s request for comments on reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (“ESEA”) by May 7, 2010.

Summary
Our comments emphasize the urgent need to ensure that states provide districts and schools, especially those serving concentrations of low-income or “at-risk” students and students of color, with the resources necessary to offer all students a genuine "Opportunity To Learn" and achieve rigorous academic standards. Opportunity To Learn (OTL) means children have access at least to high-quality preschool, quality teaching in pre-K-12, a college preparatory curriculum, decent facilities, and equitable instructional resources. Only by ensuring the fair and equitable provision of essential educational resources, including teaching quality, across our 50 state public school systems will the U.S. have any hope of closing the achievement gap and returning our educational system to international prominence.
To further this overarching objective, our primary recommendations for reauthorization of ESEA are to ensure that:

(1)All states distribute an adequate level of state and local funding relative to student need, and all states are held accountable for ensuring districts and
schools have the educational resources necessary to provide equal opportunity to learn and achieve academic standards.
2)All students arrive at kindergarten prepared to learn, by encouraging states to provide access to high quality pre-K education.
(3)All students have access to fully prepared and effective teachers.
(4)All parents have meaningful opportunities to engage in their child’s education.

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Parents from across the state march on the Capitol in Albany to show support for CFE.
CFE Litigation CFE v. State of New York
In 2006, after 13 years in the Courts, the New York State Court of Appeals affirmed the right of every public school student in New York to the opportunity for a sound basic education and the state’s responsibility to adequately fund this right, but deferred to the Governor and the Legislature to determine the appropriate amount. more >