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Teachers of Literacy Deeply Concerned About House Appropriations Bill

Lack of critical Title II funds and literacy program places students in jeopardy 

July 19, 2017

Contact: Emily Kirkpatrick, ekirkpatrick@ncte.org


(Washington, DC) – Emily Kirkpatrick, Executive Director of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), representing over 30,000 PreK–16 teachers, issued the following statement in response to the House Appropriations Committee mark-up of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Fiscal Year 2018 spending bill:  

“NCTE knows the power of high-quality, job-embedded professional learning for the teaching of literacy across all disciplines in all grades. We are deeply concerned about actions taken by House appropriators to eliminate funding for Title II Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and to the Literacy Education for All, Results for the Nation (LEARN) grant program. The elimination of these funds place students in terrible jeopardy of losing experienced teachers and the most engaging practices for becoming successful readers and writers. Additionally, this proposed reduction contradicts the opportunities promised in ESSA when it was passed in 2016. These funds make possible the majority of professional learning activities for teachers, especially in high-need school districts that serve students with fewer financial means.  

While NCTE appreciates that public funds are not funneled to school choice initiatives and that small increases were given to student access programs such as TRIO and GEAR UP, we urge Congress to work toward a funding agreement that invests in public education, provides sequester relief with parity between defense and non-defense spending, and provides adequate resources to support all of the important programs in this appropriations bill. NCTE believes that all students should have access to experienced teachers in their classrooms.”

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